The Hyles Church Manual
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 11 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, The Hyles Church Manual)
11. A Teachers’ and Officers’ Meeting
(Following is a transcription of an actual teachers’ meeting as conducted by the First Baptist Church of Hammond on Wednesday, February 15, 1966)
The teachers and officers of the Sunday school of the First Baptist Church meet each Wednesday evening from 6:00 to 7:30. From 6:00 to 6:30 we enjoy a meal together. The meat is provided by the church, and each teacher is requested to bring a covered dish. At the close of the meal an offering is taken to defray the cost of the meat.
From 6:30 until 6:50 I lead the entire teaching staff in promotion and inspiration to do a better job. During this twenty-minute period we recognize new workers, and we compliment classes and departments that have done good jobs. Oftentimes we scolded, rebuke, inspire, congratulate, etc. Here we set our goals, make our plans, and vow to do a better job.
From 6:50 to 7:10 I teach the Sunday school lesson to all of the teachers who teach from the junior age and up. (The primaries, Beginners, and Nursery Departments go to their own rooms to plan their work.) A three-page outline with an aim, point of contact, introduction, body, conclusion, questions and answers, and memory verse is given to each teacher. This outline is prepared by the pastor each week. We also give each worker a little paper called the Echoes. This is simply a little promotional sheet to inspire the workers to do a better job and to inform them concerning plans for the Sunday school.
Then from 7:10 until 7:30 the teachers go to their individual departmental levels where the teachers of the various age groups are taught how to apply the lesson to their particular age level.
PASTOR: Look at your Echoes, please. It night be wise to notice the interesting statistics just a little below the middle of the page in the left column, comparing last Sunday’s attendance with that of the same Sunday for the past few years. Last Sunday it was 2,830. It would have been over 3,000 had it not been for six buses that froze because of sub-zero weather. One year ago-2,250. You can notice a 580 gain over last year. Two years ago-1,970; three years ago-
1,510. The corresponding Sundays give us a growth of 1,320 for three years, which is 440 for an average growth per year. I think that is wonderful. You may notice that the last year has been the best year. It has been this way all of the time. This past year has been the best in every case, and many Sundays we are funning 600 or 700 more than we did a year ago.
Now, notice the balcony duty listing in the upper right-hand column. The Junior High School Departments will have it this coming Sunday. I think that last week we had twenty-five workers. Once again, be sure to instruct your workers that it is not their job to create more problems than they solve in the balcony. I often look up in the balcony and see four adults sitting together. That is not the purpose. The idea is for them to scatter so they can be in reach of every child that is misbehaving, rather than getting up and misbehaving to correct a child.
Now a few words about the attendance last Sunday. Some of the departments did very well and some did not do so well. The Nursery had 105. Beginners, you were way down last Sunday. Maybe it was because of the weather, but you had only 135, which is about eighty down. Primaries had 224, which is some down. Junior I, 256, which is some down. Junior II, 226. Down just a little bit? Junior High I, 77 down a little bit. Junior High II, 61; High School, 178. It looks like everyone was down about 15% except the adults. We can thank the Lord that the adults had 1,380. This gave us a grand total of 2,830. Now let me say this: Since everybody was down, I would suggest you do some thinking about contacting the absentees.
I know you are tired. I know you have worked hard, but now look! I also know that Sunday is the Lord’s Day. Let’s not slack up.
How many of you work on buses? Will you raise your hands, please. Let me suggest that you give some time Saturday working on the bus routes and doing the best you can to get the bus crowds up. Whose bus broke down Sunday? I would suggest very definitely that you contact the people and tell them that you are going to be by this Sunday. Tell them what happened, etc. I understand that it will be warmer next Sunday.
I am going to suggest that we make three visits per teacher between now and Saturday. If every class (we have about two hundred classes) increases by three we will have six hundred more people. We will not have 1,380 adults besides all of the other classes this coming Sunday. We were up this last Sunday because of the building program Rally. We normally have about 1,000 adults besides the teachers. We are not going to have 2,800 in Sunday school Sunday if you do not do better than you did last Sunday. I am asking every teacher the Sunday School to visit three absentees that would have been here last Sunday had it not been for the weather. I would ask you to do more except for the fact that you have been busy this week. You have been teaching. You have been cooking. You have been entertaining preachers. You have been busy, and I know it. I also know why this is true. I know that most of the work in an endeavor like this falls on your shoulders because you are the church. You are the inner circle, and you are the finest folks we have or you wouldn’t be teaching.
If the Sunday school has a “normal Sunday” this coming Sunday, we are going to have to get these absentees back. For example, we will not even have 2,500 Sunday if Beginners have only 135. Where are the beginner workers? Lift your hands. Now you understand, if you have 135 Sunday, we won’t have a normal 2,600 Sunday, which is our average during the winter months. Primary workers, lift your hands. If you have 224 and everybody else has corresponding attendance’s, we will not have 2,500 in Sunday school Sunday. Junior I, I hate to say this because you are usually up, but you were down Sunday too, and so were Junior II, Junior High, and High School. If everybody has what you had last Sunday, and the adults have a normal crowd, we are going to have about 2,300 in Sunday school, and that would be a catastrophe!
Remember, I am asking every teacher to contact three absentees this week. I do not want you to contact those who have not been here since 1932. I am not concerned this week, basically, about the fellow who has not been here in a year of six months. What I am concerned about mainly this week is the fellow who is normally here but was not here last Sunday.
Three Sundays ago we had the bad snow-27 inches! The next Sunday we had another bad snow-11 more inches! Then the attendance was 1,584, which was the smallest attendance we have had in years. Then last Sunday the adults were up and carried the load. That means the children who were absent last Sunday in your department haven’t been here for three Sundays. You hear me! Three Sundays can make a habitual absentee. You can wreck your class in a couple of snows.
You say, “Well, they will come back.”
Some of them won’t. There are at least three in your class that if you will get them back Sunday, you will save them. What is our motto? Absentees are...what?
PASTOR: Say it again.
TEACHERS: Absentees are people.
Teachers: Absentees are people.
PASTOR: One more time.
TEACHERS: Absentees are people.
PASTOR: All right, that means these 600 that we need to get back are people who have problems. They are burdens. They have needs.
Somebody said the other day, “Where do you lose them?” We have five hundred Juniors but only a couple hundred Junior Highers and High Schoolers. You lose them when some teacher does not visit them when they are absent.
“Well,” you say, “High Schoolers will be High Schoolers.”
No, teachers will be teachers.
You say, “It is juvenile delinquency.”
No, it is teacher delinquency. That is the problem.
You start a child when he is a Beginner or in the nursery, and if you will visit him every time he is absent, you will never lose him! Everyone who becomes a backslider missed one Sunday for the first time.
All right, let us visit three absentees this week. Now that is not too much. Ordinarily we ought to visit more than that. How many teachers will say, “I will pledge to the Lord that I will visit at least three absentees between now and the Lord’s Day.” I am very serious about this. Would you raise your hand up high, way up high. Keep them up. If you will do it, we will have 2,600 in Sunday school.
Look, this is not my work. This is God’s work and it ought to be done right. We ought to do it in season and out of season. In know you will.
Now I want to say a few words about one or two other things. You will notice in the upper left-hand column of the Echoes that the dates of the spring program have been set. The dates will be April 2 through June 11. That is eleven Sundays. Plans for the spring will be presented to the teachers and officers in the March 8 meeting.
This is the lull before the storm. This is the inner period between the fall program and the spring program. Until the weather hit us we were having a wonderful winter. Last winter we tried so hard to top 2,000. If we had 2,000 or 2,100, we were very pleased. Until the big snow came we were averaging over 2,600 for this winter.
Let me give you some interesting statistics. Do you recall a year ago when we decided to be “number six in sixty-six” and everyone got a pennant? We had 2,400 and something, and we thought we were off to a tremendous start. That was a big-drive day. I mean, that was one of the biggest days that we had ever had. Do you recall that? We gave everybody a pennant. We had, I think, 2,442. We thought we were off to a big start-2,400! Now then, the next winter, without any push at all, we have averaged over 2,600. We can have 3,000 a Sunday this spring if we don’t drop too far in the wintertime.
Introduction of New Teachers
This evening we have some teachers who have joined us recently and have not been officially welcomed. These are the new teachers, and we would like to have you stand. Mrs. John Vaperzsan in Junior II. Mrs. Maxine Clark, would you stand, please? Mr. Lyle Kerr, would you stand, please. Mrs. Earl Reeves, will you stand, please. We welcome you. We congratulate you because of your new challenge. We welcome you and we are glad you are with us. Let’s give them a hand, shall we? (Applause) Thank you, you may be seated.
Please notice that the lessons for the new quarter are listed in the lower left-hand corner. A new series of lessons will begin the first Sunday of April. For twelve weeks we will study the twelve apostles.
Next, notice the calendar of coming events. May 21st. is promotion Day. By the way, we have changed Promotion Day from the last of September to the last of May. May 28 will be the first day in the new classes.
March 13-15 will be the Canada trip for Primary and Junior I teachers.
All right, that concludes the first part of this meeting.
TEACHING OF THE LESSON BY PASTOR: 6:50-7:10
Now we come to the teaching of the lesson and we will open our Bibles to I Thessalonians, please, and prepare our minds for the lesson on the Lord’s Day. This quarter we are studying Paul’s epistles. Let us go through them. The first we studied was...?
PASTOR: Why did Paul write the book of Romans? He was...?
TEACHERS: Going to visit Rome.
PASTOR: He was soon going to visit Rome, and he was writing them telling them of his coming visit. He was also telling them what he would preach, what doctrines he believed, and what would be taught while he was in Rome.
TEACHERS: First Corinthians
PASTOR: Okay, First Corinthians was written to the church at Corinth. They had one big problem and the book of I Corinthians was written to solve that problem. They were what kind of Christians?
TEACHERS: Baby Christians.
PASTOR: Some said, “I am of...” whom?
PASTOR: Some said, “I am of...” whom?
PASTOR: Some said, “I am of...” whom?
PASTOR: Yes, they were divided. Paul was writing and telling them not to be babies in the Lord.
The third epistle was the epistle to the church at Corinth. As soon as Paul left Corinth (now think hard) somebody came in and spread something. They spread the fact that Paul really did not have the right to be a what?
TEACHERS: An apostle.
PASTOR: So the book of II Corinthians is written to the church at Corinth. Paul is vindicating his apostleship. There are also three wonderful chapters here about the Christian grace of what?
PASTOR: That is right, giving.
All right, we come to the fourth epistle, Paul’s epistle to the Galatians. Now the Galatian people were guilty of doing some sewing. What was it that they sewed?
TEACHERS: The veil.
PASTOR: Yes, they sewed the veil that had been rent in twain from the top to the bottom. This meant now that the days of what were over?
PASTOR: Yes, the law, ritualism, ceremony, etc. The Galatian people had some legalizers to come to lead them back to Judaism. Paul said, “You observe days and seasons, and I am afraid lest I have bestowed labour upon you in vain.”
Then we come to what letter?
PASTOR: What do you know about the church at Ephesus?
TEACHERS: It was big.
PASTOR: It was probably the largest church in the group and it was also a very influential church. Ephesians is a beautiful doctrinal book telling about the heavenly life in Jesus Christ. Now think hard. Who carried the book of Ephesians from Paul to Ephesus?
PASTOR: Right. Tychicus carried it. he also carried another one. What was it?
PASTOR: Right. Now that leads us to the book of Philippians. The book of Philippians is a what?
TEACHERS: A thank-you note.
PASTOR: Yes, someone had come to Paul and brought him a gift. Who was it?
PASTOR: Yes, Epaphroditus brought Paul a gift from the church of Philippi. Epaphroditus also visited Paul when he was in jail in Rome. Epaphroditus got sick and almost died, but he got well. He was the messenger that Paul used.
Now, Romans is a reminder of Paul’s coming. First Corinthians is a letter to baby Christians. Second Corinthians is a letter vindicating Paul’s apostleship. In Galatians, Paul is rending the veil again. Ephesians is the heavenly letter to the great church, and Philippians is a thank-you note from Paul to the church at Philippi.
Now let us review Colossians. the book of Colossians was written because somebody came to Paul and told him about an error in the church at Colosse. What was the fellow’s name?
PASTOR: Epaphras came. What kind of false doctrine did he say had crept in?
TEACHERS: Angel worship.
PASTOR: Right. Paul is writing telling about the preeminence of Christ and the danger of angel worship.
That leads us to the book of I Thessalonians. Get your outlines, please, and look at I Thessalonians.
The first thing I would like for you to do is to get something that is made of metal like a fountain pen, spoon or knife and hold it in your hands, please. All right, if you have it, raise it up. Now I want you to beat it on the table very loudly. Keep doing it. Everybody keep doing it. Okay, you may stop. I will tell you in a minute why I had everybody beat on the table. This is the point of contact for Sunday. Have all of the kids make noise.
Now I want to show you why I gave you that for a point of contact. Look in I Thessalonians 1:8. “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord.” Those two words, “sounded out,” come from the same Greek root word that Paul used in I Corinthians 13:1 where he said, “I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” With a noise like that of sounding brass and tinkling cymbals the church at Thessalonica sounded out the Word of God.
Now beat on the table again. With that much racket you are supposed to get out the gospel.
Take your Bibles and place a marker at I Thessalonians 1. then turn to Acts 17. To me the church at Thessalonica was a very unusual church and a striking one in one respect. Look at verse 1 of Acts 17. “Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews.” Hold it! “A synagogue of the Jews”-what do we already know? When Paul was in Philippi, did he go to the synagogue?
PASTOR: Notice that here he went to the synagogue. Because of the fact that he went to the synagogue here we know one thing about the city of Thessalonica. What is that?
TEACHERS: They had at least ten responsible Jewish men in the city.
PASTOR: Yes, if they had not had ten responsible Jewish men in the city, somebody raise your hand and tell me what they would not have had.
TEACHER: A synagogue.
PASTOR: Right. What would they have had instead?
TEACHERS: A place of prayer.
“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.” Paul was not here long. He was in Ephesus three years, but he was here only three Sabbaths. Look at verses 5-10 of Acts 17 and see why: “But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy [that is usually why folks oppose any work of God], took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when and they found them not, they drew Jason certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying [Note this is a great statement], These that have turned the world upside down have come hither also; Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrite to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go. And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.”
So Paul was not at Thessalonica long. He reasoned at least how many Sabbaths in the synagogue?
PASTOR: It is absolutely amazing what he did. Notice if you would, please, in I Thessalonians 4:2 what he did in three Sabbath days. “For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.” We know on those three Sabbaths he gave them the commandments. Now look in chapter 5 and verse 2: “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” Hold it! How long was he here?
TEACHERS: Three Sabbaths.
PASTOR: Yes, he said they knew perfectly about the Day of the Lord. You have probably heard some folks say, “We do not know much about the coming of the Lord. We haven’t been saved but about five years. You see, we are just baby Christians.” Paul said that they knew perfectly about it, yet had been saved only three weeks.
Turn, if you would please, to verse 4 chapter 5, “But ye, brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” He also taught more about that, for in II Thessalonians 2:5 he reminds them, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”
Wait a minute. What “things” does he mean? Look back up to verse 3: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
Perhaps you have said, “I am just like Paul. I am just going to preach Christ and Him crucified.”
No, you are not like Paul. Paul was here three Sabbath days and told them about the Antichrist, the day of the Lord, the rapture, the falling away, the son of perdition, the Man of Sin, and the Lord’s coming as a thief in the night.
Look to verse 15, please, of chapter 2 II Thessalonians: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught.” He taught them how to serve God. He taught them the doctrine. He taught them the traditions of serving Christ, etc., and he was there just three weeks.
Now please notice your outlines. I think it might be wise if you would give your class the proper order of these epistles. We have the chronological order here for you, and on the other side we have the example of scrambled order. I would suggest that you give your class the scrambled order and ask them to unscramble it, you see. You could write them all on the board scrambled up and ask someone to come up to the front of the class to the blackboard and put a “1” by the first one that was written and a “2” by the second and so on. See how close to the proper order they can get.
I want you to look at I Thessalonians again and notice the opening of it. I want you to notice Paul’s relationship to his people. “Paul and Silvanus....” Whom do you think Silvanus is?
PASTOR: Right. “...unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now notice Paul’s tender expression in verse2: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.” It is amazing how quickly Paul could fall in love with God’s people. In this area he spent only about three weeks. Yet he said that he thanked God for them and that he prayed for them. “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the sight of God and our Father.” Notice he said, “I thank God for you. I pray for you, and I remember you.” Although he was there but a little while he fell in love with them.
“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord.” I like that. A preacher ought to be able to say that if you are following me, you are following the Lord. “...having received the work in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were examples to all that believed in Macedonia and Achaia.”
Now notice what kind of church it was. “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak anything.” Again we find the words, “sounded out.” He said they were sounding out the Gospel. Like sounding brass and tinkling cymbal they were noisy in getting out the Gospel.
“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven.” Now I want to give you the real reason why Paul wrote the book of I Thessalonians. This is what I want you to remember about the book when we review in the coming weeks. Paul had talked to them very much about the coming of the Lord. You cannot read I Thessalonians without reading a lot about this great truth. The people in Thessalonica fell in love with the coming of the Lord, but after Paul left they got worried. They said, “We know that we are going to be raptured. The Lord is going to come, but Paul didn’t tell us much about the dead people. What is going to happen to the dead?” So they sent word to Paul that they were concerned about the dead folks (those that had died in Christ). What would happen to them? The book of I Thessalonians was written to explain this matter to them. The key verse is in chapter 4, verse 13: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep.”
Perhaps somebody who was saved had just died and they couldn’t understand what would happen. They knew that the Lord was going to come back, but they did not understand what would happen to the brother who had died. Paul wrote the entire book to explain to them about the dead in Christ, and the events accompanying the rapture.
I think if I were you I would go over the future events with my class this Sunday. I would go through the rapture, judgment seat, marriage of the Lamb, tribulation, revelation (coming of Christ back to the earth), the millennium, the great white throne, and Heaven and Hell. Every child in our Sunday school ought to know what the rapture is. The word “rapture” ought to be a household word. “Millennium” and “great white throne” ought to be household words also.
Because the Lord is going to come, Paul speaks about what the Christians ought to be. The last few verses of I Thessalonians 5:10-22: “Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore....”
Anytime you see the word “wherefore,” that means something has gone what?
PASTOR: “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” Because He is coming, comfort yourselves together. “Edify one another” means build up each other. Why? The Lord is coming! He may come any minute. Hence, comfort and edify each other.
“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” He said you ought to respect your pastors. Pray for them and esteem them very highly.
Not very long ago a little lad ran to me and said, “Hello, Jack.”
I picked him up and held his face in front of mine and said, “What did you call me?”
He said, “B-B-B-Brother Hyles.”
We don’t allow that “Jack” business at our church. The children ought to be taught to respect the pastor, not because he is a man but because he holds an office. Paul said that the leader should be respected because the Lord is coming.
“Now we exhort you, brethren [all of this is because the Lord is coming any minute], warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.”
Now see verse 16: “Rejoice evermore.” Why? The Lord is coming! “Pray without ceasing.” Why? The Lord is coming! “In everything give thinks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Why? The Lord is coming! “Quench not the Spirit.” Why? The Lord is coming! “Despise not prophesying.” Why? The Lord is coming! All of these things we are supposed to do because the Lord could come at any minute.
Now look at the questions at the close of your outlines. Close your Bibles and let’s see how well you do.
First we have scrambled words.
(1) Mitoyht - This man joined Paul as a youth to accompany him on many of his journeys, and he was with Paul at the time of his writing this book.
PASTOR: That’s amazing. That word doesn’t look like Timothy, does it?
(2) Another one of Paul’s fellow travelers was - lassi. (laughter) This could only happen at First Baptist Church. Well, who is it?
PASTOR: (3) Strif Salasostnhien-the first epistle Paul wrote.
TEACHERS: First Thessalonians.
PASTOR: (4) Radpey-What did Paul do daily?
PASTOR: (5) Gogmuesya - Where did Paul preach first in Thessalonica?
PASTOR: (6) Tingdasn - The position of the person who read the Scripture.
PASTOR: Now we have the true or false questions.
(1) Paul’s earliest and main opposition in Thessalonica came from the Greeks.
PASTOR: (2) Paul was in Thessalonica for a long time.
PASTOR: Now fill in the blanks.
The Christian in Thessalonica were not only believers but they sounded out the Word of God. They were looking for the return of the Lord. They were concerned, however, about the Christians who had died. Paul told them that the dead in Christ would rise first. Then he said that those which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall rise. He said, “They shall be caught up in the air.
Now the general questions: How long will the Christians be in the air?
TEACHERS: Seven years.
PASTOR: Where do we go from there?
TEACHERS: To the earth.
PASTOR: How long will we be on the earth?
TEACHERS: One thousand years.
PASTOR: What great judgment takes place at the end of this thousand-year period?
TEACHERS: Great white throne.
PASTOR: Where do we go then?
TEACHERS: New Jerusalem.
PASTOR: How long will we be there?
PASTOR: Right. Forever and forever.
Now note the memory verse:
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep.”
That is the lesson for Sunday.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: After I have taught the lesson, the teachers then go to their own departmental level meeting where a member of the staff takes the lesson that I have taught and shows the teacher how to apply it to his own particular age level. The one below is for junior teachers and deals with the lesson taught above.
MRS. SANDRA PLOPPER: First of all, get your lesson and a pencil just as you do every week. Make this little outline.
(1) Review. Here is our review board that we have been using every week. You will notice today’s letter is here with a dart on it as it is every week, To review this, what do we do? Take these off, mix them up, and ask the class which identification belongs with which book of the Bible, or we can do it by turning the identifications up, etc. Then we can ask the class, “What did we learn in the book of Romans?” The Gospel is the word we chose to use. “First Corinthians was about what?” Baby Christians. Review the class about each one. We also take down the names of the books, mix these up, and ask the class to place them back in order.
All right, this is the first point-review.
(2) Give your introduction to the book as you have in the lesson, and open today’s “letter.” February 19 we are going to study I Thessalonians. Inside of our envelope we have a letter. Now, of course, we want our class to learn that the epistles were letters, so that is why we have a letter here. It is from Paul. Do you see his return address in the corner? It is written to the Christians at Thessalonica. Let’s see what Paul said. We suggest to our teachers that they read the letter briefly and make the reading of the letter the main part of the lesson, stopping to illustrate the different points. We rewrite the letter very simply to fit fifth grade boys and girls. We might say:
Dear Loved Ones:
I thank God for you and I pray for you. I remember that even though I was there for only a little while, you were so nice to me. You have been a good example to everyone around you. You have really sounded out the Gospel in a wonderful way.
In this way you rewrite the letter very simply and have it printed here in the envelope.
(3) After you introduce the book of I Thessalonians tell your class that you are going to teach them something about the Thessalonian Christians. Here are the points. I have them all written out to show you. Here are the things about the Thessalonian Christians. I have covered up the key word, you see. The reason we do this is to make the class curious. When you uncover each word as you make each point, you will have their attention. If you should happen to lose their attention between points, you will surely have it when you uncover the next card because fifth and sixth graders will want to know what is underneath. We reveal just enough to make them curious. We also use different colors. That creates interest, doesn’t it?
So we sill teach: The Thessalonian Christians suffered PERSECUTION. We will teach about this. They returned from their IDOLS. They were good EXAMPLES. We will teach about the fact that they were good examples. They had a wonderful TESTIMONY. They looked for.... For Whom did they look? JESUS. They served God.
Now I can cover these words again and review my class by asking them to tell me what was under each one.
All right, that will be the next point on your outline. The first point was review. The second was the introduction. The third was to teach the general things about the church of Thessalonica.
(4) Teach about the rapture. After teaching about the church at Thessalonica go back to the reading of your “letter” and read:
I know that you are very concerned because some Christian have died already, and you are very concerned about what is going to happen to them. Let me explain to you what will happen.
Now I will explain by using another illustration. I have some very pretty colored balls. They are wooden. I am going to put them in this dish to represent unsaved people who are living. Now I have some other wooden objects that are going to represent unsaved people who have died. I have some paper clips which will represent saved people who are living. Last of all, I have some little nuts. (Are these nuts or bolts? I always get mixed up. Nuts? Okay.) These will represent saved people who have died and gone to the grave. Now all four articles are here in my plate, which represents the earth. The Lord is represented by this magnet.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven.”
I see that the paper clips and the nuts have come up, but the wooden objects, which represented the lost people, both alive and dead, did not come up. The paper clips and the nuts, which represented the living and dead saved people did come up. The saved not only shall go up, but they shall be with the Lord. When the Lord goes, they go. Now the reason the wooden objects did not go up is that they had nothing in them to take them up. The metal objects did. They were attracted to the magnet because they had that one thing in them that made them go up. The Christians have the Holy Spirit that makes them go whether they are alive or dead. you can teach your class about the rapture with this.
At the end of your lesson where you have the scrambled words you could play a game and have the class participate in this manner. I am going to show you in scrambled letters the name of the young man who went with Paul on many of his missionary trips. Now if you know the answer, don’t say it aloud. Raise your hand, and I will let you come up and arrange the letters in the proper order. Are you ready? Raise your hand if you know. All right, Mrs. Hand, come up and see if you can show us the proper way this name should be. This is a heavy piece of paper with one edge folded over and stapled to make a little pocket, and the letters are written on cards. We use this quite a bit at the junior age. She says it is T-I-M-O-T-H-Y. Is she right? Right. Very good.
This is the name of another young man who was with Paul. Who knows the answer to this one? Meredith, would you come up, please, and see if you can show us the right name here. Is that right? S-I-L-A-S. Very good.
Okay, this is something that Paul did for the Thessalonian people every day. What did he do for them every day? Will you come and fix this for us, Verlie.
You can do this with the fill-in-the-blank words as well as the scrambled words on the outline.
With all of these different illustrations, of course, you could not fail on your lesson. We have used class participation. We have aroused their curiosity by covering up the words. We have used review. We have used printed things and, Junior II teachers, why do we use printed things? It is because you learn better when you see and hear than when you just hear. Right? We reinforce learning by seeing and hearing, and we also have something to use for our review from week to week.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Once again I will give you the outline. The first twenty-minutes is promotion and discussion about Sunday-bring three visitors, make three visits before Sunday, get back up, and get your departments on the ball! The next twenty minutes is the teaching of the facts of the lesson. The third twenty minutes is how to apply the facts to the particular age level so that they will remember and understand the lesson and the truth concerning the lesson.
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