Why is there a decrease for most Christians in the frequency of telling others about Christ the longer they are Christians? I don’t believe it is a lack of understanding or appreciation about what Christ has done for them. For most, however, I believe it has to do with taking for granted what Christ has done. The newness has worn off.
Think about that new car you bought. You wanted to make sure everyone saw it. You offered to drive just to show it off. You talked about it everywhere you went. Now five years later, even though you still enjoy the car and benefit from it, the newness has worn off. You no longer talk about your car or show it off.
How can we change our attitude of “taking Christ for granted?” I believe some of it comes through a renewal in our quiet time, an investment of time in Bible study and prayer. Many of us are relying upon our past relationship with God rather than a personal, present conversation. Some change comes through fresh consideration of what Christ has done for us. Some motivation and change occurs through stresses, challenges, sin, and transition times in life. Some comes through a realization of how much others need Him.
In a similar way, why aren’t we inviting more people to Sunday School? Are we taking that opportunity, experience, and our relationships in Sunday School for granted? What can we do to recover some of the initial excitement? What can we do to “invigorate” our Sunday School, a word used by David Francis in I-6: A Six-Lane Strategy Toward an Inviting Sunday School? David said, “Groups of people who feel good about what they are experiencing—and the environment in which they are experiencing it—will be more likely to invite others to experience it with them!”
How, then, can we “invigorate” Sunday School? What can we do to help members feel so good about Sunday School that they “are more likely to invite others to experience it with them?” This is a question, I would challenge every adult and youth teacher and class as a whole to consider at length. The class as a whole needs to “own” the problem and the response.
What if the class began praying and seriously seeking God’s leadership here? What if they began to be burdened for their community–for their friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors? What if the class put together a system of prayer and care for those FRANs? What if they enjoyed spending time with each other in class and away from class and they began inviting those FRANs to fellowships and to class? What if they began to understand more of God’s Word, His will, and how to live daily for Him? What if class and lesson participation were high? What if attenders found a place of service that they enjoyed and allowed them to make a difference for the Kingdom?
I believe a fresh love for Christ and desire to invite others to Sunday School flows naturally out of an encounter with the living God in Bible study and prayer. Out of that “newness” comes excitement that overflows into plans and all the other actions. Pray. Invigorate your class. Tell others about Him and about Sunday School! Be revolutionary!