I am not a marriage expert, but I have been married for nearly 34 years and have learned a few things. At the same time, I still have much to learn. In reflecting on this journey which is nearing an anniversary, I quickly recognized three actions which give life both to a healthy marriage and to a healthy Sunday School class.
Evaluate your class in these vital and interrelated areas and circle one of the choices for each action:
- Commitment. Like a healthy marriage, the best classes are committed to each other. They are faithful in attendance on Sunday as well as for class activities, but they can also count on each other relationally. When members need help or support, the group steps up for each other. 30 points (excellent); 20 points (acceptable); 10 points (needs improvement)
- Communication. Because they are committed to and care for each other, they communicate often and well. They look forward to communicating together before, during, and after group time. But they also talk to one another between sessions. While they tend to prefer face-to-face communication, they also use electronic, mail, and phone to communicate. 30 points (excellent); 20 points (acceptable); 10 points (needs improvement)
- Care. Like a healthy marriage, care in these classes is not just a feeling; instead, members do care regularly. They pray for each other and follow up on prayer requests. They check on one another when absent and provide help to meet needs–often without being asked. 30 points (excellent); 20 points (acceptable); 10 points (needs improvement)
Like a healthy marriage, most classes can see improvement from intentional focus and work in these areas. How does your class measure up on this scale: 80-90 points (excellent); 50-70 points (acceptable); below 50 points (needs improvement)? Which of these areas needs improvement? Where will you start? Make disciples. Be revolutionary!
For some additional thoughts about parallels with marriage, check out Weddings, Marriage, and Discipleship on 28Nineteen.com and Grow Your Sunday School by Maintaining Great Connections, Part 1 and Part 2.