CLEMMONS, N.C.—Alan Wilson, US field coordinator for Regular Baptist Press, spent a day with the Sunday School teaching staff of Immanuel Baptist Church. Immanuel Baptist recently committed to using RBP’s Strong Curriculum for its Sunday School program and sought Wilson’s guidance to make Sunday School the best it could be.
Alan began the morning by introducing attendees to the curriculum. He displayed materials the church had already ordered, showed additional materials that RBP offers, and answered teachers’ questions regarding teaching and preparing for classes.
For the next session, which Alan calls “Revive the Sunday School,” he described why Sunday School is such an important part of a church’s ministry. Sunday School is vital not only to a church’s evangelistic ministry, he says, but also to a church’s teaching arm, whether through a traditional Sunday morning setup or midweek small groups. Sunday School gives church members opportunities to minister within their classes and to discover and utilize their spiritual gifts. Sunday School also connects people, whether by age or life situation. Those connections encourage people to join the church and help keep people after they have joined.
Alan also discussed how to recruit new teachers, develop an effective organization, connect to other ministries in the church, build up new leadership, and build a high-quality, Biblically based program.
In the final session Alan presented “10 Signs of a Quality Teacher.” This highly interactive session “helped teachers see that being a Sunday School teacher is so much more than simply teaching a Bible story,” says Worship Director Bob Sprigg. Serving as a teacher, Alan pointed out, requires a personal relationship with God, a passion for teaching (spiritual giftedness), the heart for evangelism, sincere and consistent preparation, and organization.
In the afternoon, Alan led a round-table discussion with church leaders and teachers interested in developing a discipleship process in which the church helps move its members toward spiritual maturity. One possibility the group discussed is implementing a mentoring program for new Christians and new church members, connecting those people with mature believers of the same gender for teaching and accountability. Another possibility is developing teaching ministries in community-specific areas of financial recovery, single parenting, divorce, and substance abuse recovery. These ministries would give the church opportunities for evangelism and would connect people to the church using its existing ministries that are underutilized.
On Sunday morning, the church was privileged to hear Alan preach during the worship service. His ministry that morning gave the entire church an opportunity to meet him and to become familiar with his ministry through Regular Baptist Press.
Sprigg says, “We highly recommend Alan to all churches everywhere who may be considering a training event. We consider him a good friend to our ministry and have learned much from his ministry to us, and are all the better for his visit with us!”