For the last few months (yes, months), my optometrist has been trying to find me a brand and prescription of contact lenses that would produce clear vision both near and far. It is dangerous to lack either type of vision. If I can see the cars coming at me but cannot see the speed showing on my dashboard, that is a recipe for disaster.
The same is true in Sunday School. Danger lurks when our vision is unclear either near and far. And danger occurs when our vision ignores the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Allow me to ask a series of vision questions about your Sunday School:
- Where are you experiencing success? Tell your class or Sunday School stories.
- Where are you struggling? What is weak? Where are gaps? What is not being done well or at all?
- How are lives changing? Share testimonies.
- What is effective in the teaching-learning experience? What adjustments are needed?
- What is effective in reaching and member care efforts? What adjustments are needed?
- If you were describing class/Sunday School to someone in your community, what would you say about it?
- If Jesus were to attend next Sunday, what would He like about the experience? What would he dislike?
- Left as class/Sunday School currently is, where will it be in 5 years? in 10 years?
- How could class/Sunday School even more effectively help the church to carry out the Great Commission: make disciples of all nations (baptizing them…and teaching them to obey)?
- If Sunday School were absolutely effective, what impact would that have on the community around the church (and beyond)?
- What does effective teaching-learning in Sunday School look like?
- What does effective reaching and caring for people beyond the walls of Sunday School look like?
- What would ideal Sunday School member care look like? How is this balanced with reaching new people?
- What is a God-sized vision for the size and/or impact of Sunday School in the next year?
I am sure you can add many questions to these lists. The point is to examine Sunday School up close and to have a vision for the future of Sunday School. Without both it is wasteful to attempt to guide Sunday School in a particular direction. Such poor vision will tend to result in investing energy poorly and arriving at mistaken locations. The clearer your vision (picture) of Sunday School near and far, the clearer the distance between the two and the path that must be trod to move in that direction.
When you have can express clearly the difference between the two visions, then is when you begin to lay out a strategy (plan) for moving in the direction of the plan. Spend time praying before considering these questions. Seek God’s leadership and input throughout the process. Then seek Him again as you begin to set some goals and make some plans to move toward making your farsighted vision become near!