Intersection of Life and Faith

10 Myths People Believe about Their Sunday School Teacher

  • Meg Bucher Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
10 Myths People Believe about Their Sunday School Teacher

People volunteering to serve God’s church are, first and foremost, still people. God did not grant humankind the power to rise above out of our own abilities. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. “

God places people in our community of believers to work as one part of a whole. When sitting in class on Sunday morning, we must recognize the divine inspiration in someone that has given themself for His purpose. We must also reflect on the power of the Holy Spirit in us to speak the Word directly into our lives, no matter what human mouth it comes out of.

We, too, have a purpose and a place we are called to in God’s church. As we review these 10 Myths about Sunday School Teachers, let’s think about what we are doing to hold them, and ourselves, accountable to work as the church family God designed us to be—dependent upon Him, completely.

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  • 1. Seeking Answers

    1. Seeking Answers

    Slide 1 of 10

    It’s easy to come to church on Sunday and unload our week’s worth of anxiety in expectation of directly applicable solutions. Teachers give a part of themselves to pay forward what God has illuminated to them. He also places people in our lives for a reason. When we sit in class on Sunday, or in a family room with our small groups, we can be confident that the topic of discussion was planned, and that the people encircling us have the ability to empathize and instruct our hearts according to God’s Word. 

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

    2 Timothy reminds us that Scripture is useful for teaching. Teachers are vessels of deliverance, but they are not the Teacher that liberates us. It’s important to ease up on our expectations of who holds the answers. 

     

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  • 1. Seeking Answers

    2. Perfect People

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    The voice of wisdom is a good thing to strive after, and there are teachers that can speak straight into our souls. There are specific voices that God knows will cut right to the heart of who we are and what we are suffering from. 

    “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check” (James 3:2). 

    This verse reminds us of our humanity. “Never at fault in what they say,” is describing someone who has gained self-control over their speech, which carries over into the rest of their lives. It’s a seemingly impossible task, but we’re assured it can be done through a lifelong journey with Jesus. 

    Although our teachers may seem to have it all together on the surface, we can know that no wisdom rich in God’s Word has come easily. The life of a Christian is promised to include much suffering, sacrifice, and study. So, as we sit and wish to be them, we should be mindful to remember that they were us—probably more so than we realize. 

    When a group opens up and a teacher releases the internal struggles of present and past, we can realistically begin to see the path God is leading us down. Leaders are purposely placed in our lives; not to follow them, but for them to lead us to Him in the unique way their story allows God into the corner of our hearts to heal what we hide.

     

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  • 1. Seeking Answers

    3. Happiness, Guaranteed

    Slide 3 of 10

    There is a pressure that comes with leadership, to have it all together even when the feeling doesn’t attach itself. Teachers and leaders have the ability to honor their commitment, beyond what is pressing in on their own lives. They show up. When we all sit down together to glean wisdom from our teachers, do we offer to pray for them? 

    When Paul tells us to “Rejoice always,” in Philippians 4:4, he’s not talking about pretending to be happy when we’re sad. True joy in Christ allows us to be encouraged through hard times because we know He promises never to leave us. Teachers spend a lot of time reminding us of these things. But they are people, too. Let’s rally around them in prayer each week for the hurts that they set aside to bring God’s wisdom to us. 

     

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  • 1. Seeking Answers

    4. Presumingly Misunderstood

    Slide 4 of 10

    We’ve all witnessed, and perhaps even been the one slumped into the chair, stirring a cup of coffee and avoiding all eye contact. Dragged to church by a loved one or a spouse and putting in their time in compliance, they don’t truly believe they’ve been encircled for a reason in that moment. 

    Do we believe that we’re encircled purposely in those moments? 

    It’s a stretch to assume that our every need and malfunction will be comforted and solved in a short morning meeting of strangers, but our God specifies in miracles. When we are searching for a reason to believe that our Sunday School teacher has the ability to understand where we are coming from, what we are going through or need help with, let’s remind ourselves Who placed them in the room to begin with. Allow the opportunity to be ministered to by someone who may understand exactly what we are going through, or maybe has no idea; but God’s given them the spiritual nourishment we need in that moment to minister to our hearts. He is so much bigger than our opinion of each other, and so much greater than what we can see in our lives and those of others. 

    “‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord” (Haggai 1:13). 

     

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  • 1. Seeking Answers

    5. They are Qualified to Teach

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    “The Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other” (Genesis 11: 6-7). 

    The above text from Genesis recalls what God’s response was to the people joining together to build a tower in honor of anything but the glory of God. 

    No advice or teaching should lie out of the context of God’s Word. Through prayer and study on our own, every day, we will be able to know when we are being led astray. 

    It’s easy to look up to leaders and teachers who appear to have it all together, but that’s very dangerous. Look what happened in Genesis 11— scattered and confused. They could not understand each other. God alone holds the ability to grant us understanding and clarification, through His Holy Spirit, received when we accept Christ as our Savior. 

     

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  • 1. Seeking Answers

    6. Age Equals Wisdom

    Slide 6 of 10

    The accumulation of wisdom can happen over the span of a near-century, or a few decades. Each life carries such a unique set of circumstances, and we should be wary to judge from the outside who we feel is qualified to teach us in the ways of God’s Word. 

    Job’s youngest friend, Elihu, waited until his elder friends had spoken out of respect, but points out that age and status do not always mean the most wisdom; in fact, being the youngest friend, he is able to point out more of God’s character to Job than the others. 

    “I thought to myself, “Age should speak first; those advanced in years will teach wisdom’” (Job 32:7).  

    Though there is an importance in growing in maturity in our faith and walk with Christ (1 Corinthians 13), Jesus very adamantly told us to have faith like children. 

    “This is the truth: unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). 

    Today’s society supplies us with plenty of walking wounded to learn from, and age doesn’t seem to be a discriminatory factor in what we exposed to in this life. When we can learn from those who are mature in their faith, no matter the age, we are extending the loving arm of Christ. 

     

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  • 1. Seeking Answers

    7. It's Their Dream Job

    Slide 7 of 10

    There are teachers who want the title of “teacher,” and others who teach as they go. The only permanent place a Christian will call home is heaven. Until then, every assignment is temporary. The number of years we are called to service here or there is unknown to us when we say “yes” to allow our lives to fulfill what He’s purposed. 

    “‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people’” (Matthew 4:19). 

    Sunday School teachers stand before us each Sunday as part of the journey they are on with their Savior. They are learning more as they teach us what God has illuminated for them along the way. 

    Don’t get stuck glamorizing their position, wishing for it over His wisdom and guidance. The sure way to flow in peace is to accept each assignment as it comes. When we view our teachers in this way, it allows us to have more compassionate hearts towards them and our own dreams, understanding, and expectations.

     

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  • 1. Seeking Answers

    8. They are Confident

    Slide 8 of 10

    Listen to the words of Paul as he encourages Timothy, a young leader of the early church who is reaching for the confidence to do what God has purposed him for: 

    “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction … keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4: 1-5).

    Life in pursuit of spreading the gospel wasn’t easy then, nor is it now. Let’s carry the words that Paul pressed Timothy with to our own teachers, encouraging them. I guarantee they experience much doubt in the accuracy and credibility their lives evidence to teach. 

    “Do the work.” 

    Our Sunday School teachers are doing the work, despite their sinful humanity.

     

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  • 1. Seeking Answers

    9. They Will Never Stumble

    Slide 9 of 10

    Romans 3:23 looks directly into our souls : “for we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 

    When we are tempted to put our Sunday School teachers upon a pedestal they are bound to fall from, let’s remember that Romans 3:23 is not a one-time accusation. Sin is repetitive, and very easy to fall back into. There are parts of every life that are waging war against a cycle of sin that has a hold on bodies and minds. 

    Sunday School teachers are human, and they will sin; sometimes more than the church can bear to allow them to remain in the position of teacher. Let’s aim to be a forgiving and compassionate flock that rallies around its sick and lost.

     

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  • 1. Seeking Answers

    10. Teaching Teachers

    Slide 10 of 10

    The power of Christ’s grip on our lives is to use our stories. Our Sunday school teachers aren’t figments of our imagination. They are real people, with real stories, who choose to be vulnerable so that God could reach into another hurting heart that needs His healing. 

    God calls ordinary people to extraordinary purpose. We learn from our teachers, but are we ready to “go” when it’s our turn? 

    “The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, ‘Arise, go’” (Jonah 1:1). 

    Let our hearts be ready to receive God’s message, from the teachers He provides to prepare us through, lest we don’t need to be swallowed and spit out by a fish. Let’s be ready to “go.”

     

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    Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, http://sunnyand80.org. “Mom” is the most important calling on her life, next to encouraging others to seek Him first … authentically. A writer, dance mom, substitute teacher, youth worship leader/teacher and Bible Study leader, she can often be found having some kind of an adventure in the small little lake town where she resides with her husband of ten years, two daughters, and their Golden-doodle.