Jesus has sent us into our community and world to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). Sunday School can have even greater impact upon lives and this discipling effort. In Discipling Outcomes from Sunday School, Part 1, I listed fourteen discipling outcomes which have potential to result from Sunday School. Then in Part 2 of this series, I focused on one of the fourteen discipling outcomes: biblical knowledge and understanding.
In Part 3, I will focus on ways a Sunday School class can impact Christian worldview. Consider the following:
CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW. In order to impact individuals’ Christian worldview, learning has to go deeper than biblical knowledge and understanding. To impact worldview requires addressing further stages in Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning: application, analysis, and synthesis. Application is understanding how truth and issues impact people, life, and self. Analysis, on the other hand, is examining all the parts of issues and ramifications of application. Then synthesis is creating that new pattern of thinking and acting that becomes the worldview.
There are some key phrases for each of these steps or stages of working toward a Christian worldview:
|Application||Applying||Can I use the information in a new way?|
|Analysis||Analyzing||Can I distinguish between a Christian worldview and a nonChristian worldview related to this issue?|
|Synthesis||Creating||How has my point of view changed as a result?|
ILLUSTRATION. Let’s put this into a Sunday School class context. You are studying 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. You examine the passage and context to gain knowledge and understanding. Then you move toward application, analysis, and synthesis. (1) APPLICATION: You lead the class to consider the impact of loving actions in their setting at home, work, and the marketplace. You ask how they would have handled a situation differently? You share case studies for applying the learning. You keep pointing back to Jesus and the Word. (2) ANALYSIS: Focus on the differences between eros, phileo, and agape love. Focus on the differences between the practices of love today versus a Christian expression of them. Discuss differences between love of self and love of others. (3) SYNTHESIS: What will be hard for you about shifting to this point of view? What will require more effort, thinking, and new behavior in order to move toward agape love? What adjustments do you need to make? Where do you need to start? What will you do? What did you do? (accountability question for implementation)
The bottom line is that Sunday School has to go beyond entry stages of biblical knowledge and understanding if we want to see discipling progress. We may need to slow down our teaching-learning process. We may need to ask more questions. We will definitely need to allow more time for the application part of the lesson.
One other issue must be stated. Not all learning has to take place in the walls of the class on Sunday morning. Make assignments. Follow up. Send emails, texts, cards, or letters. Make phone calls. Call for reports at the beginning of the next lesson. Review is great for reinforcing knowledge and understanding, but it can also reinforce action, application, and change.
How could you adjust your lessons to impact your discipling results? What do you need to change or add in order to make your Sunday morning encounters laboratories in Christian living, application, and change? Slow down. Adjust your plan. Focus. Apply. Analyze. Create. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!