The goal of the WIT Sunday School classroom is to create a warm, friendly, non-intimidating room where women can have a loving fellowship while growing spiritually in Christ.
After years of trial and error, the following steps have proven to be the most successful.
However, we recommend at first you use your own creativity with "what you have available" to create a cozy, cheerful class room. It may be one pot of flowers and a coffee pot! In time, you will be able to add the items I've mentioned. The most important thing is to "get the class going!" Remember, anything is better than nothing and will be greatly appreciated! In reality, your unconditional, nonjudgmental love is the most important single ingredient in this classroom!
- WIT Welcome Sign: Hang a sign immediately outside of your door so that women will easily see and find your room! Don't have them wandering around the church or they may leave!
- Door Greeters: Designate your most loving ladies to stand at the door and welcome others in! She is the most important representative of your Sunday School class. Similar to a commercial airline flight attendant who welcomes everyone aboard the plane! "A crabby or nonchalant greeting instigates a negative flight. A warm greeting instigates a positive flight!" She should learn the ladies name and introduce her to others immediately so there is a "feeling of family." The next step is for others to offer her refreshments and assist her in finding a chair.
- Enrollment: Only when the lady is comfortable in her chair should you sit down next to her with an enrollment form and help her fill it out. You may do it for her if you suspect she can not do it herself. Don't assume all women can read or write!
- Decorations & Furniture: The first impression is most important! A great thing to do is add artificial trees, flower pots and window vines with soft drapes to soften the room up. Donated coffee tables can be placed on the corners of a circle of chairs for those who have trouble holding things or are in walkers and wheelchairs. Always have a large coffee table in the middle of the circle of chairs with flowers plus extra enrollment cards, newsletters, devotionals, pencils and bibles. This creates a "living room look", not a stark jail classroom.
- Seating: Do not provide "rows" of chairs but a friendly circle of chairs. Women are used to "taking second best" and as a result, have a lack of self-worth. They will naturally gravitate to the back if possible. At all costs, prevent anyone from feeling inferior or left out! Our hearts are burdened if someone chooses to sit else where alone. In this case, have someone sit with them or better yet, encourage them to join the circle by loving taking their hand and leading them to a special chair next to you. Please don't leave a woman sitting alone, even if she says she is OK! I guarantee you, she will feel "left out." We eventually placed a rattan love seat, chair and coffee table in one corner of the room nearest the door creating a "small living room." This is excellent for women who have children wander in "waiting for Mom" and for special individualized counseling sessions.
- Refreshments: Also, near the entry door, have a coffee pot and light refreshments available. This breaks the ice and gives the women something to immediately do that is inviting. Don't be surprised if their children come in with them at first and have a treat. This is all new to them too! Their children need to be loved as well. Remember, Mom isn't happy if her children aren't happy!
- Spiritual opportunity table: Nearby, have another table full of literature and spiritual helps available to take home and read! Also, "class sign up sheets" and church event brochures can be placed on this table.
- Pictures: Start taking pictures of the women and put them up on the wall in collages above the literature table. This gives women a feeling of belonging! Pictures of Jesus, the Ten Commandments,and scripture verses are also good posted around the room.
- Music: Finally, soft Christian praise music should be 'quietly playing' during the initial welcome and coffee fellowship time. It helps to prepare our hearts to 1) praise the Lord, 2) go to him in prayer and finally, 3) hear God's Word, applying biblical principles to our lives. Remember, this should not resemble a secular, loud party but a warm, loving time meeting with Jesus and his family.
- Teaching Tools: It is best to have the teacher and/or speaker sit with a table in front of her to provide a place for her notes and Bible. A large black board near the teacher is excellent for prayer requests. A CD player is very important for both music and teaching CD's. Optional teaching tools are a television set on a stand, including a DVD / Video player for special films and a piano for singing group praise songs and potential piano lessons for the clients and/or their children.
Your WIT class room is now smiling and ready!
Be blessed and keep us informed as to how you are doing! Please don't hesitate to send your comments and questions. Don't forget, we are in this together and are eager to place your news on this WIT Web Site!
May God bless you abundantly as you begin your new WIT Sunday School Class!