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Reply to "What is a Shepherd? Does Each Class Need a Shepherd?"

Here are the responsibilities of our "guides" (shepherds):

Our classes meet in the gym and then go to their respective stations—the guides meet them in the gym and lead them on to class.

They take attendance, collect the offering, celebrate birthdays, fill out registration sheets for new students, maintain order and discipline, and hand out/collect the journaling folders at the end of class.

They also send follow-up postcards to students who have missed a few Sundays.

We’re a little haphazard with memory work, but the guides go over the verses with the class.

Some of the guides open and/or close with prayer—some have the teachers do that. I would like to give the guides a little more time to do things with the class, but our class-time is only 45 minutes so we’re rushing along as it is.

During the lesson itself, the guides are also a set of helping hands in the classroom. They may help the teacher set things up or hand things out, or assist students as needed with the project at hand. If attendance is low or an uneven number, they may take part in the drama or puppets or other activities.

The students like to see the adults taking part and perhaps even being a bit goofy. Sometimes the guide can help lead the way if the students seem reluctant to try something new (that was more when we first started rotation). Most of the monthly station teachers like having another adult in the room, especially one that knows the kids.

Most of my guides were the former “full-time” Sunday School teachers (they wanted the weekly contact with the students). Even though they weren’t responsible for the lesson and lesson prep, they were a little frustrated at not knowing what was going to be happening in class and how they could best help. We adapted our lesson plan for the teachers to include a paragraph on how they MIGHT utilize the guides. I cut and pasted these paragraphs into a handout for the guides. I also include a paragraph briefly outlining what is happening in each station.




To keep the guides informed on what is happening each month, I give them the following:

• Rotation schedule with stations & locations for the month

• Introduction and Bible background—lists the Bible story with some commentary, the memory verse, goals and objectives, one sentence description of each station. This is the same handout that the teachers get.

• Guide information sheet with the information listed in the above paragraph

• Page with the memory verse printed in big, bold type

This summer, I needed to get some substitute guides to fill in for some long-time volunteers who were leaving the area. Several of the newer members of our church wanted to get involved—a definite answer to prayer."GUIDING" is a pretty non-intimidating way to get involved in Sunday School. Several of the substitute guides over this past year—once they saw what happened in the class—were willing to teach. Yeah!


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