In Becoming a Healthy Disciple: 10 Traits of a Vital Christian, Stephen Macchia states, “Time is the most precious commodity of the twenty-first century” (p. 123). The difference between mediocre Sunday School and revolutionary Sunday School is often the investment of time. Mediocre Sunday School invests little and receives little in return. Revolutionary Sunday School invests much with many rewards. Leaders in mediocre Sunday School arrive late and leave early.
Leaders in revolutionary Sunday School arrive early and are not ready to leave when class is over. Relationships continue. Revolutionary Sunday School sees Sunday School as a 24/7 ministry. Consider these ways revolutionary Sunday School leaders invest more time than mediocre Sunday School leaders:
- in daily prayer and Bible study,
- preparing life-changing lessons,
- leading encounters with God,
- reading the scripture,
- in relationship with each other,
- in fellowship and assmilation activities,
- in outreach and ministry projects,
- equipping current leaders and apprenticing new leaders,
- mentoring new Christians,
- praying for the lost,
- praying for and meeting needs of members and guests,
- personal leadership training,
- evaluating, dreaming, and setting class goals,
- focusing on and inviting prospects,
- leading all attenders to participate in the lesson and class leadership,
- listening to each other,
- affirming and stretching each other,
- dealing with obstacles/problems rather than avoiding them,
- holding each other accountable,
- adopting/sponsoring another class,
- starting another class,
- connecting with inservice members (teachers in younger age groups),
- wearing name tags and greeting members and guests,
- making good first impressions,
- sharing testimonies about the Lord and Sunday School,
- expressing appreciation,
- mobilizing attenders into service for the Lord, the church, and the community, and
- preventing, improving, and removing ineffective leaders.
What a list! I know we are all looking for shortcuts, for how to get the most done with the least effort, but some things cannot be rushed. I agree with Macchia when he said, “If relationships matter significantly to you and yours, then time is the greatest gift you can give to one another” (p. 123). That is true for our relationships with people as it also is with God. Jesus said it best: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and wit h all your soul and with all your mind….And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:3-39, NIV).
Love is spelled t-i-m-e! Want your Sunday School to be revolutionary? Invest your time in Him, your neighbor, and your class!