Recently, I wrote a blog entry entitled What Can Sunday School Classes Do to Make Disciples Thirsty?. Here is how I concluded that post:
We must stop giving them a sense of satisfying the hunger/thirst by merely attending a group session that meets on Sunday (or another other day of the week). God wants a daily relationship with each disciple that is real and personal (Blackaby). What can Sunday School do to facilitate that relationship?
I am reminded of a Seminary Extension course I taught back in the 1990s, The Dynamics of Teaching. The course used a book by Findley Edge entitled Teaching for Results. In the book, Edge shared two dangers that teacher face:
The danger of leading the members to learn only verbalized concepts….One does not truly learn a Christian ideal until he has both experienced it and expressed it in experience….Learning words which describe a religious experience is not he same as having the religious experience.
The danger of leading the members to have only an emotional catharsis in the class sessions….These people have their emotions stirred so often without making any overt response that they identify this emotional stirring with having had the religious experience they discussed in class….What makes this so unfortunate…is that…they come to both desire and to be satisfied with having only their emotions stirred.
Allow me to ask some hard questions: Are we failing in our Sunday School classes and small group to develop a hunger for God? Are we so focused upon class success that we are allowing disciples to flounder? Are we giving them good experiences with each other but not leading them to encounter God? Have we allowed our safety, security, and success as individuals to lull us into a false sense of self-dependence and away from a complete dependence upon God?
Before I conclude, let me ask you to turn up the volume on your computer in order to watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?vâoi6y292kE. After viewing the video, come back and answer that last question (above) and then read the last paragraph (below).
As director, pastor, or teacher, our people will only develop that hunger and dependence if they see it in us. What are you doing to hunger after God? What are you doing to depend on Him? Chew on this issue this week. Spend time with God. Seek Him. Seek understanding. Then, consider what you can do in your class or in Sunday School to help them develop further in this direction. Be revolutionary!