The Sunday School Teacher’s Covenant
By Rev. James R. Sunderland
I believe that there needs to be an agreement between a teacher and the Sunday school (let’s call it a “Sunday School Covenant”) to give guidelines to teachers concerning their responsibilities. Teachers are asked to agree to the covenant at the beginning of their term of teaching. When teachers are reappointed, they should renew their covenant each year by indicating their agreement.
Administrators use different methods in asking teachers to give allegiance to the covenant. In some churches the covenant is printed and distributed to the teachers for each of them to sign. Other Sunday schools post it on the bulletin board for all to read. Either way, each Sunday school should have a covenant by which teachers should live and work.
There should also be a dedication day where teachers come to the front of the church to dedicate themselves to their responsibility. Each point of the covenant is presented by the pastor or Sunday school superintendent. Teachers are asked to give their verbal agreement; thereby, everyone in the congregation knows what is expected of a Sunday school teacher.
Some Sunday school teachers’ covenants become very specific regarding the lifestyle of each teacher. I believe we need to adopt specific guidelines to help our teachers realize the great responsibility that they have accepted.
A Sample Teacher’s Covenant
Recognizing the high privilege that is mine to serve my Lord through our Sunday school, and trusting in the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, I earnestly pledge myself to this covenant.
1. I will live what I teach about separation from the world and purity of life, testing everything, holding on to the good, abstaining from all appearance of evil, and setting an example for my students.
2. I will be faithful in attendance and make it a habit to be present early to welcome each student as they arrive. If at any time, through sickness or other emergency, I am unable to teach my class, I will notify my superintendent at the earliest possible moment.
3. I will, at all times, have a deep concern for the members of my class. My first desire shall be to bring about salvation of each student who does not know Jesus as Lord and Savior and to encourage the spiritual growth of every Christian. I will also pray for each member of my class on a regular basis.
4. I will carefully prepare my lessons and make each lesson a matter of continual prayer.
5. I will regularly attend and urge all members of my class to be present at the church worship services,
recognizing that the church and Sunday school are inseparable. Believing in the importance of prayer and Bible study, I will try to maintain regular attendance at midweek services, too.
6. I will teach according to the doctrine of my local church.
7. I will try to visit each member of my class at least once a year.
8. I will heartily support the Sunday school program, attending teachers’ meetings and training classes.
9. I will fulfill my obligation or appointment as a teacher for one year, unless prevented by some unavoidable situation.
10. I will cheerfully abide by the decisions of my church and Sunday school, cooperating with my fellow workers in bringing our work to the highest possible degree of efficiency as one of the educating arms of the church.
Just as everything in life will rust and decay without attention, the Sunday school will decline without some standards. The Sunday school that keeps its standards polished for its teachers will have a clear vision for the future.