I have a testimony of preparation. I spend a great deal of time preparing my lessons. I do not believe that “winging it” brings the same results.
However, I also believe that the Spirit sometimes redirects a classroom to an unexpected place if the teacher has the flexibility to let the Spirit take the reigns, even if it means setting aside her carefully prepared notes. My most memorable Sunday School class experience was a spontaneous moment like this when I was a teenager in a class of 16 and 17 year-olds.
A girl in the class stood and told us that several weeks before, she had overheard someone say something offensive about her at church. She did not say who the culprit had been or what he said, but she did say that she couldn’t believe anyone thought of her that way and for awhile she had avoided coming to church so she wouldn’t have to see that person. Now, she had decided to forgive and move on.
Shortly after she finished speaking, another classmate stood up. He said that he was sorry. He had been wrong and he was trying to learn to control his thoughts and his words.
And then someone else stood. He expressed admiration for both of the previous speakers. He talked about how he didn’t know if he would have been brave enough to admit to wrongdoing in front of everyone, as that boy had just done.
I never asked what the offensive comment was that sparked this exchange. Other details I have simply forgotten—what was the lesson about? Who was teaching? Why did the girl stand up and speak in the first place? But I remember that moment.