Why do Sunday School teachers feel so bad all the time?

It’s so vivid in my memory, it’s like I’m there, right now.

Recently, I was walking out of church after a lesson on God not calling us by the ‘label’ we’ve put on ourselves…

And I was at a loss.

I’d put my heart and soul into the lesson. I’d spent upwards of 10 hours, in my spare time, studying and getting ready for the 20 minutes of teaching.

And yet, as much as I had worked, it just felt…blah.

I wonder if you’ve ever felt this way.

Whether you teach Sunday School or a Bible class elsewhere; have you ever walked away completely dejected because you felt like a bad teacher?

As hard as you’d tried, the lesson just didn’t “work”.

While I certainly don’t have all the answers here are a few ideas that I believe will help us get to the bottom of this.

1. Sunday School Teachers aren’t trained.

If you’ve ever been through any training at all to teach it was probably terrible.

Sunday School training is bad. The “instruction” often goes something like this:

  • You need to know your Bible
  • You need to ask the Lord for help
  • You need to be yourself
  • You need to love kids

WOW. Who would have thought I needed to know the Bible to teach the Bible. What!!?!!!???  (that was sarcastic)

My point is that while all those ideas are true, they give a new teacher no real “nuts and bolts” ideas on how to teach. They are helpful ideas, but not helpful tactics that can be put into practice.

The reason you feel so bad is because you haven’t been adequately trained. No one tells a Sunday School teacher how to:

  • Handle difficult children
  • Keep kids attention for 5-10 minutes
  • Guide children toward making right decisions
  • Be the classroom leader, not dictator

2. We get very little support

How many times has a seasoned teacher come in and observed you teaching? How often have you received feedback, on what worked and what didn’t?

While it’s no one’s fault, it is really hard to get better when the only response you get is “thanks for teaching” or “good job”.

Most teachers want to get better, they want to grow and be better tomorrow than they were yesterday. But it’s incredibly difficult when there is no system for feedback and/or improvement.

3. The story in the curriculum is designed to BORE kids

Sorry Charlie, it’s true.

Go ahead – raise your hand if you love the lesson as it’s provided in your curriculum.

(No hands go up)

A few problems I see:

  • The curriculum stories are BORING.
  • They use big “churchy” words.
  • There are ZERO relevant references to what kids are watching/reading these days.
  • The lessons are designed for the teacher to use one prop and then be a talking head for the next 15 minutes.
  • And my favorite…there’s NEVER enough material to cover your allotted time.

It’s no wonder teachers feel terrible after the lesson. They aren’t given a chance to succeed in the first place!

Now that we all feel depressed, here’s a few words of hope.

I believe better ideas are on the way. That’s part of the reason I’m doing the work I am on this site. I want to change Sunday School Curriculum so it’s designed to make teachers feel amazing.

Secondly, I want you to come back to this site often for ideas on how to spice up different Bible stories. I’ll try to give as much detail as I possibly can and make really bad videos every now and then too 🙂

In the end, we get to teach the greatest story ever told. That’s a task not trusted to most people. We are incredibly lucky people!

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