Lead Well

10 Commandments of a Sunday School Teacher

June 25, 2020

Henrietta Mears. One of my personal heroes. Her biography, Dream Big, showed me what God can do through a single leader. She led Sunday School at Hollywood Presbyterian Church. Hundreds of college students sat under her teaching each Sunday. She was a single woman that people cherished and looked to for leadership. Best of all are her ten commandments as a Sunday school teacher:

When I was just a girl in college, the Lord entrusted me with a large Sunday School class. Many times I faced what I ought to do as a teacher to please the Lord, but somehow I just did not carry it out. One night I awoke from a restless sleep and determined never to fail the Lord again. So I got up and wrote down what I still call ‘My Own 10 Commandments.’ I decided to say what I would do, not just what I ought to do. There have been times when it was agony to carry these out, but by God’s grace they have been the pattern for my teaching. God has honored it.

I will win the personal allegiance of every student in my Sunday School class to the Lord and Master by talking, writing and prayer.

I will expect a decision on the part of each one, and I will make sure that that decision is based on facts. No boy or girl will I ever give up on as unreachable.

I will not think my work over when my pupil has made his decision for Christ.

I will help him to realize how necessary daily Bible reading and prayer are. I will also put helpful books in his hands and will encourage him to unite with God’s people. I will show him the importance of church work. In all this, I will stay close until he is established, remaining at all times accessible to him.

I will see that he finds a definite place in some specified task.

I will not rest until every student is an out-and-out aggressive Christian, for God has a place for each one to serve.

I will bring Christianity out of the unreal into everyday life.

I will show my students the practical things they should be doing as Christians. The ministrations that the world needs so much today—meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty—are judgment-day tests of genuine Christianity (Matt. 25).

I will seek to help each one discover the will of God, because the Master can use every talent.

I will try to see in them what God sees. Michelangelo saw the face of an angel in a discarded stone. Christ saw a writer in a tax gatherer, a preacher in a fisherman, a world evangelist in a murderer. He takes the foolish things and the weak and despised to work His purposes.

I will instill a divine discontent into the mind of everyone who can do more than he is doing,

not by telling him the pettiness of his life, but by giving him a vision of great things to be done enthusiastically, passionately.

I will make it easy for anyone to come to me with the deepest experiences of his inner life,

not by urging, but by sympathy and undersatnding. I will never let anyone think I am disappointed in him.

I will keep the cross of Christ central in the Christian life.

It is great to be out where the fight is strong, to be where the heaviest troops belong and to fight there for God and man.

I will pray as I have never prayed before for wisdom and power,

believing God’s promise that “if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask…and it shall be given him” (Jas. 1:5).

I will spend and be spent in this battle.

I will not seek rest and ease. I will not think that freshness of face holds beauty in comparison with the glory of heaven. I will seek fellowship with the “man of sorrows…acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3), as He walks through this stricken world. I will not fail Him.

Taken from Dream Big: The Henrietta Mears Story

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