How does a teacher lead his/her attenders to obey God’s commands? While I know adults can take knowledge to convert it into action, without encouragement and/or positive accountability, many adults merely learn history lessons, factual content, or moral lessons from Bible study without changing their thoughts or actions. In other words, many adults miss the step of listening which is necessary before obedience. After all, how can we obey if we don’t listen?
But some do listen to God’s still small voice in Bible study, whether in Sunday School, worship, or personal quiet time. And some do make commitments in those times of Bible study. In my experience, however, the problem is that promises are made to God and not kept. If we tell God we are going to do something in Sunday School, during the invitation in worship, or during private devotions and we do not do what we said, that is called a “lie.”
How can we help ourselves as teachers as well as help our attenders keep their commitments? We need to ask ourselves this question:
What did I do as a result of what God said?
That may seem like a strange question to ask at the moment of the encounter with God in Bible study. In fact, it cannot be answered immediately since we have not had time to obey. And yet it has to be answered.
How can we hold ourselves and attenders accountable to keep our promises to God? I can think of at least three helpful methods: (1) spiritual journals where we write the date, scripture passage, and answer the four questions checking back on how we are doing in obedience every few days, (2) asking other believers to check on our commitments/obedience as accountability partners, and (3) leading them to commit at the end of each Bible study session and then asking at the next session how they did at obeying.
From your experience, what are some other ways to lead us to actually do what God told us to do? How can we help ourselves or those we teach to be faithful to do what we tell God we will do? Be revolutionary!