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How to Prepare a Sunday School Lesson

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Written by Tom Fowler   


Preparing a Sunday school lesson is like anything else. It is not difficult if you are experienced at it but can be challenging for the novice. If you are new to teaching Sunday school, thank you for accepting this unique call to our Lord’s service. Below are some pointers to help you get adjusted.

Things You Will Need:

Basic knowledge of the Bible and Christianity

Belief in and love for Jesus Christ

Servant’s heart

Willingness to share

Step 1:

There are several items a Sunday school teacher needs. An annotated study Bible is the most important, followed by several volumes of Christian and Bible commentary prepared by credible sources.

Step 2:

Your lesson, whether it is your first or the most recent of hundreds, should be on a topic which interests your class and research material is readily available. Your lesson need not come straight from the Bible but should, of course, be Christian in nature.

Step 3:

Lesson preparation is not as difficult as it will seem the first few times you do it. A quality lesson can be completed in 30 minutes to an hour. The wonderful thing about being a Sunday school teacher is that you are mainly passing on existing knowledge to others. Sunday school need not, should not, be too heavy for either you or your class members. It is perfectly acceptable to read or quote from your sources, although it is a good thing to share with the class who and what those sources are.  

Step 4:

As you prepare your lesson, you will learn your material. That is a plus. Not only will you present the lesson with greater authority, but your knowledge of Christianity will improve every time you teach class. If you are in any kind of lay leadership within your church, and you probably are if you have agreed to teach Sunday school, this will benefit not only you but the congregation as well. The main challenge you face in preparing a lesson for a class which will last 45 minutes to an hour is presenting the right amount of material in the allotted time in the most attractive and interesting way possible.

Step 5:

RECAP:  Have a study Bible and at least 2-3 volumes of Bible and/or Christian commentary in your library to use when preparing lessons. Select lesson topics which interest your class and avoid the temptation to get overly theological. Keep everything to do with Sunday school interesting but fairly light – not only for the class but for you as well. You are not studying to pass any sort of exam, you are merely wishing to gather and pass along a measure of Christian education in a relaxed setting. A typical lesson should not take more than 30 minutes to an hour to prepare. As you gain experience, it will become easier for you to combine the right amount of lesson material in an easy to follow format. 


From Step 1: Internet research for lessons is not always trustworthy as much of the information found on the net is not accurate or placed by credible sources.

From Step 2: Your lesson should be interesting and meaningful but not too heavy. You are not a seminary professor and most of your class members are not Biblical scholars.

From Step 3: If you print a study guide for your lesson, keep it at one page. Holding the attention of the class is crucial.


Keep deep theology and heavy philosophy out of Sunday school. Those are for another time and study group. If you do not, you run the risk of losing the interest – and attendance -- of your class members. 

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