The ABCs of Great Sunday School Teaching


Discover the ABCs of great Sunday school teaching that are foundational to great Christian education.


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Children usually learn to read by recognizing combinations of letters. Learning to teach is similar. Qualities and skills combine to make the teaching process understandable and enjoyable. As you read this alphabet of teaching qualities and skills, you may discover new combinations of letters you need to be an effective teacher.

Availability: Don’t turn off when the last “bell” rings. Kids still need hugs and attention when they see you in the hallway. And be available for training. It’s the best way to become a better teacher. Make it a goal to incorporate one new idea from each training session you attend.

Boasting: Be proud of your children. They need someone who thinks they’re special and who says so. Let your children hear your praises of them.

Coping: Many children have difficult lives. You need to be able to cope with what’s happening to them. Don’t avoid children with problems, but embrace them and counsel them when necessary. When a child makes a need known to you, pray for that need and seek to minister to that child.

Discovery: Explore biblical truth with your kids in every lesson. You’re an expedition guide into the most exciting territory ever for kids: the Bible.

Encouragement: Your positive support will encourage learners to risk new things. Pepper your speech with comments such as, “I appreciate the way you tackled that mural” or “You worked hard during that game.”

Flexibility: Children develop at different rates — even children of the same age. Be patient with them while they develop. Don’t ask them to do things beyond their physical or intellectual capacity. Praise them for trying rather than only for achieving.

Guidance: Proverbs 22:6 says if we guide children biblically, they’ll not depart from the training when they get old. That’s a promise for every teacher and parent!

Hesitation: When you ask a question, wait for children’s responses. After ample thinking time and if someone doesn’t attempt a response, rephrase the question.

Interaction: Don’t lecture! One of the most effective teaching methods Jesus used was dialogue. Take turns in talking and listening. Maintain eye contact to underscore your interest in what the child says.

Joviality: A good sense of humor that leads to hearty laughter is good medicine for everyone. Remember to laugh with children and not at them.

Knowledge: Learn about developmental characteristics and effective teaching methods. Put your knowledge into practice to develop age-appropriate lessons for kids.

Love: Your children must feel you love them by how you act, what you say and the tone of your voice. Love costs us nothing, but it can make all the difference to a child.

The ABCs of Great Sunday School Teaching
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Children's Ministry Magazine

Children's Ministry Magazine is the most read magazine for people who minister to children from birth through sixth grade. We're partnering with you to make Jesus irresistible to kids.


  1. Thank you for these! Love them all, especially ZEAL. It goes beyond just energy in the class — it is the courage to burst that excitement of God’s love and our mission into their hearts, minds, and lives. Keep up the good work!

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