Jesus sent us into our world to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). In Discipling Outcomes from Sunday School, Part 1, I listed fourteen discipling outcomes which have potential to result from Sunday School. In this series thus far, these are the posts with the Sunday School discipling issues addressed:
- Part 2 (biblical knowledge and understanding); Part 3(Christian worldview); Part 4 (spiritual disciplines); Part 5(obedience); Part 6 (life and behavior practices); Part 7(spiritual gifts and church body practices); Part 8 (love of God, neighbor, and self); Part 9 (connection, community, fellowship); Part 10 (leadership training)
In Part 11, I will focus on ways a Sunday School class (or small group) can impact discipling through service. God gives leaders to the church, like pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of service (Ephesians 4:11-12). The body of Christ is built up as Christian Sunday School members serve the body, community, and world. In fact, serving is a natural discipling application or outcome of Bible learning in Sunday School.
Allow me to illustrate that last sentence by looking at five lessons from LifeWay’s Bible Studies for Life series, Life Matters:
- Kingdom Attitudes, Matthew 5:1-16: serve family, coworkers, or those in the marketplace by being merciful (v. 7) and peacemakers (v. 9)
- Kingdom Expectations, Matthew 5:17-48: pray for and do an act of kindness for an enemy (v. 43)
- Kingdom Motives, Matthew 6:1-13,16-18: save and give money anonymously to an organization to help the hungry or needy in your community (vv. 1-4)
- Kingdom Relationships, Matthew 7:1-12: take a gift to your neighbors and ask how you can pray for them (vv. 7-12)
- Kingdom Decisions, Matthew 7:13-29: set up a class project to pray for and contact state, national, and international missionaries for their work to be laid on solid foundations (vv. 24-29).
Examine every Bible study passage to see what God wants you and your class to do as a result. How could attenders better understand the truth of God’s Word through an act of service? How could they look more like Jesus through living out the truth by serving others? I could personally illustrate this in many ways. Here is one: Grow Your Sunday School Class by Organizing to Respond in Times of Need.
I want to close with one final admonition. While the teacher will often have keen insight into lessons and lives and possible service possibilities, one of the best ways to ensure class service actions and projects is to enlist a class service leader. The teacher can share ideas related to lesson, and the service leader works with the class to carry out the details. Not only that, the class service leader works to ensure that every attender has a place of service in the church.
When everyone is serving, there will naturally be growth of the disciples. Pray. Lead them to serve. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!
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