Leading attenders to listen is so important. But a relationship with God demands listening and talking, it is a conversation with Him. A marriage that involves only talking or only listening is in trouble; the same is true of our relationship with God.
The truth is that when God speaks, He expects a response every time. When we open His Word, He speaks and expects a reply. How can we do so? We reply in prayer and in obedience. The second question that leads us to fully encounter God (before we lead attenders to do the same) is this one:
What is our response to what God has said to us in Bible study?
I find many classes on Sunday morning as well as many Christians in private devotions who separate Bible study and prayer. Bible study and prayer are two halves of the whole of a conversation with God. They need to be done together. When God speaks, we need to respond.
I know American society has led us to feel time pressures, but why is it that we rush through our relationship with God, through our conversation with Him, through Bible study and prayer? Why do we not have more time for the most important Person in the universe? Why can’t we make and keep our appointments with Him?
One fault I find with Sunday School is that we try to cover so much scripture that we fail to reflect on it at any depth. In other words, we fail to take time to listen more than a few seconds. More importantly we fail to complete the conversation in prayer. We ignore God and what He said to us. We fail to respond with words and the right attitude. Without this response, most will fail to move any farther–toward obedience.
How could we lead our classes to personalize and not rush the experience? How could we train attenders to ask this question in class and private devotions? Be revolutionary in your relationship with God!