INSTRUCTING: Jesus instructed them.
SENDING: He sent them out to practice what was taught.
APPLYING: They applied what was taught.
REPORTING: They “gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.”
These steps are simple but effective for transformational discipleship through Sunday School. In this four-part series, I will set these steps in the context of the youth or adult Sunday School class.In Part 1, I shared the first step: instructing. In Part 2, I will examine the second step: sending.
SENDING. Instruction is to enable the learner to use what is learned. Jesus taught his disciples (and us today) for a purpose. He prepared them to carry out the work. He prepared them to be sent out. Sending gives purpose, meaning, and direction to the instructing. Consider this statement, “If I am not going to use what I learn, then I don’t have to remember it.”
Sending raises retention, increases attention, and leads to application questions. When you know you are going to have to use what was learned, you do what it takes to learn it. I have seen that while working at Kroger, learning software and computer programs, and buying a new car. But it’s also true when our Sunday School instructing will be followed by sending.
When sending has not been practiced, much less attention is given to instruction. In order to move toward sending, it is important to help learners understand that you are serious and to begin simply. It is also important for the first experiences to be chosen to build confidence and result in success at application.
The lesson might be about the Good Samaritan. How can we help learners grasp the truth of the lesson, to be a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers? In Luke 10:37, Jesus said to the expert in the law, “Go and do likewise.” The story, the truth was intended to be practiced. Jesus sent him out to do it. How could learners in your class be led to apply the truth in the daily walk of their lives? Where could they be sent to? How could you lead them to envision places for sending and applying the truth? Helping learners narrow down options about places to apply the truth can help them get started. That’s why sending cannot be skipped.
In Part 3, we will look at applying. In the meantime, what steps can you take to begin to practice sending in your class? How can you introduce sending in such a way as to create a willingness to try it? How could you do so in your parenting? How could you do so in mentoring new Christians? Instruct. Send. Be revolutionary!