“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV)
As you begin praying about new teachers needed for next year, here are a few things to consider as part of a screening:
Look for persons who make time with God a priority everyday as a follower of Christ for their own spiritual growth. To present yourself to God, as one approved, requires time with God each day. Find persons who take seriously their walk with God.
Look for persons who have a passion for God’s Word that leads to transformation, not knowledge only. There are a lot of great Bible teachers who are focused on Bible knowledge and not transformation. You are not looking for persons who want to flaunt their knowledge of the Bible. You want persons who sincerely want to help others grow in their faith as a disciple and be teachable themselves.
Look for persons who have a passion to care about people. Teachers need sensitivity to where people are as they teach. As I have said before, “Teaching God’s Word is as much about cultivating and nurturing the soil as it is about planting seeds.” Teachers need to earn their Students’ trust in order for them to move to a deeper intimacy in conversations about life experiences. Get to know them and their families. Visit children and youth in their homes and support them as much as possible in their extracurricular activities. Find out their passion/hobbies as well.
Look for persons who want to invest in others (discipleship.) Every teacher should have an apprentice. Sunday School is a missionary movement. Teachers should disciple another person to take over the class as a teacher or be ready to start a new class. They need to be ready to mentor another person.
Most importantly, pray and allow the Spirit to lead you. There have been times I wanted to fill a slot based on human rationality rather than listening to God. When I listen to God I discover the right person to teach. (See Sunday School and Volunteers blog)
The bottom line: recruiting is hard work. Consider these qualities and the work of the Spirit as you look for new teachers.