A Model for Sunday School

How would you like to go to an exciting Sunday School class every Sunday? If you live in Humble, Texas or are within driving distance, you can. It has been my privilege to go there for several years now.

When my husband and I first began attending Humble First Assembly of God, we only went to the church service. We were still shopping for a church home. One evening, we were visiting with some old friends in their home. Our friend Jean said to us, "How do you like Humble First Assembly?"

Our reply went something like this: "It is very friendly. There seems to be a lot of love there. We don't know if it is the church for us or not. We will just wait and see how the Lord directs us."

church-1210031 640"Try our Sunday School class," she said, "you will love it. I can hardly wait to get there each week! The teacher is so right on and real. He talks about things of interest to us. Right now he is talking on the subject of sex."

Her enthusiasm for the class was contagious and made us want to try it. The next Sunday we attended for the first time, and we fell in love with it right away. We are still there after six years. We have gone to other classes at the church on occasion and they are excellent, too. However, we seem to gravitate back to this particular class. It just fits what we need each week. We have come to love and appreciate each member there.

I cannot say enough good things about the class. The leaders of the class, Guy and Naomi Worsham, are the most encouraging, helpful, thoughtful, serving people you would ever want to meet. They have the ability to make each person feel valuable, from the newest visitor to the oldest member of the class. Guy never fails to acknowledge anyone new to the class and find out something about them. He always listens to the needs of any hurting member in the class. He takes prayer requests and brings them before the class; the class then prays for those needs, both individually and together as a group. Members of the class are urged to share their hearts as they are led and nudged by the Holy Spirit.

Before the class officially begins each week, a continental breakfast is provided for those who wish to participate. The class begins at 9:30, but most members come early in order to get a good seat and fellowship with the other members and visitors. The room is full by the time class begins, although it holds over 100 people. When we first began, the class was less than half that number. We have watched the class grow to its full capacity. Actually, it is a double classroom. We started in one of the rooms, but the partition (a dividing wall) had to be opened to accommodate the growing population. We are seated at round tables with attractive tablecloths to facilitate our Bibles and breakfast.

The class begins with prayer followed by a time of singing and praising God. A praise team leads us in praise and worship. They devote much of their time and energy, even though they all hold other jobs in the community. The Spirit of the Lord begins to move and hearts are opened to receive what He has to say.

Guy follows with introductions of visitors and opportunities for class members to share a testimony, a song, a poem or a burden on their heart as the Holy Spirit prompts them. He makes the class interesting, fun, and light hearted; yet, needs are met. He always introduces our award-winning teacher, Hoyt Ivey, with a question to make the class think and get ready for the lesson.

Hoyt was the district winner for "Teacher of the Year" and was honored nationally by the Assemblies of God. He feeds our spirits and teaches us to apply God's Word in everyday living. Hoyt is known among the class for three qualities that are essential in Christian Education; he is spiritual, practical and attentive to class members. One member declares, "He presents practical messages, led by the Holy Spirit."He is known among the members of our church for his stability, success in his profession and devotion to his family. Fifty-four people from the class wrote to nominate him for the "Teacher of the Year" award.

Hoyt is able to teach a down-to-earth, Spirit-led, Scripture-filled message in the remaining time for the class, whether it be five or thirty-five minutes long. He is flexible and above all else, he is led by the Spirit of God. He takes time at the end to pray for needs before adjourning for church.

With all these responsibilities, he is still able to meet members at the door after class to encourage, interact, shake their hand or hug their neck. It is sometimes difficult to get to church on time because of the love and camaraderie of the class.

I look forward to the class each week and can hardly wait for the next time we go. If you are ever in our vicinity, come and visit. You will be welcomed with open arms. This is a class where God is glorified!

The class is based on two Scriptures:

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10, KJV).

"The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, 'What is this? A new teaching--and with authority'" (Mark 1:27, NIV).

Clancy Hayes is training coordinator and district liaison for the Sunday School Department, Springfield, Missouri. Sunday School. All rights reserved. Used with permission.