The lesson time means more than Bible study. The Bible is studied in order to convert and to form character, not for mere knowledge of the book. It needs to be urged upon teachers more than ever in these days of fine teaching methods that the primary work of the Sunday school is not educational but evangelistic. It is not learning the Bible as a book, but putting it into practice as the supreme rule of life. The lesson that is made plain to the mind but does not find its way into the heart is a failure. There are some things pertaining to the evangelistic work of the teacher which should be kept in mind as a guide to better spiritual effort.
1. Know the Student
Not so much his social or mental as his spiritual condition. Is he already a Christian? Is he on the borderline, and "not far from the kingdom?" Is his conscience yet sensitive? Is he the slave of some bad habit? Is he growing careless spiritually? Does he have light and trivial notions of Christianity? Does he realize his need of Christ? The teacher must know the answers to these questions, if he is to become the saving instrument of God.
2. The Constant Use of the Word
There is a strange power in the words themselves of the Bible; not the teacher's words about the Bible, but the Bible itself. Use God's words rather than your own. Read the lesson; turn often to the oopen Bible; read it slowly and prayerfully. It is sharper than any two-edged sword.
3. Appealing to Conscience
make the appeal direct and incisive. It is the thrust of the sword. Remember that now, more than ever, is the young conscience quick and tender; therefore fail not to arouse it.
4. Appealing to Decision
The bond of affection between teacher and student is peculiarly close, and allows much spiritual freedom. No one can enter the youthful "holy of holies" more freely than the Sunday school teacher. Aim at the innermost confidence of the student. Use your love for him and his confidence in you to secure his personal decision for Christ. Your heart will be made to rejoice if you thus become a shepherd of souls.
5. A Moment of Prayer
With every lesson class time there should be a little moment of united prayer with your class, with bowed head over the Word of God, inaudible it may be, yet an earnest pleading with God for the students and for the help of the Holy Spirit in arresting wayward minds, touching young hearts, giving skill to impart the truth, making tender the conscience, and blessing the solemn work of another Sunday. Years may come and go, but the children will recall reverently these moments of prayer in the little circle of the now disbanded class. (1)