When preparing your Sunday School lesson, it can be very tempting to cram as much as possible into the time you have. After all, you want the kids to learn everything!
The problem is that the kids will end up leaving your class discouraged and overwhelmed. When asked, “What did you learn in Sunday School today?” they will not be able to give a good answer.
One of the most important truths a Sunday School teacher can master is to teach 1 thing.
Here’s how to decide what 1 thing to focus on:
Ask God to show you the 1 truth He wants you to focus on.
Read through the lesson
Read everything: all the suggested scripture, the entire lesson, the application, any additional material.
Look at the themes
Most curriculums will list one or more key themes at the beginning of the lesson. These may be called key themes, themes, aims, objectives, goals, truths, etc. You may be able to take your “1 thing” directly from here or use one listed as a base to build on.
Decide on 1 central theme
Once you have prayed and read through everything, you now have to decide what the 1 thing is you want to teach in this lesson. Don’t worry about getting it wrong. Different teachers will choose different themes and you may even choose something different the next time you teach this lesson. The Bible has so much to teach us – so choose 1 thing. Once you have decided, write it out in a single sentence.
Go back through the lesson
This is the time to be ruthless. Get rid of everything that isn’t about your 1 thing. It may be the truth, it may be Biblical and God-centered, it may be something you want the children to learn, but if it isn’t about the 1 central theme then it shouldn’t be in this lesson.
Insert your 1 thing throughout the lesson
Your 1 thing should be repeated often throughout the lesson, but that won’t happen unless you put it in.
Focus the application
You may need to change the application a lot depending on what you have chosen for your 1 thing. The 1 thing as stated will be a truth – about God, us, the Bible. During application, your job is to take that 1 truth and move it from head knowledge to heart transformation. There is a lot to say about this, so watch for it in an upcoming post.
When you focus your lesson on 1 central theme, your kids will be able to follow you, remain focused, and walk away having learned that 1 thing really well.