Have you ever considered the similarities between a Sunday School class and an AA meeting? While there may be times when a person is “forced” to attend an AA (Alcoholic Anonymous) meeting, AA usually has the most impact in the lives of those who realize and admit their need and attend because they need help. Is the same not also true in Sunday School? Those who receive the most help are those who realize and admit their need and attend seeking help from a higher source (God) and from a loving community.
Also, Sunday School, like AA meetings, should be open. AA’s website says, “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Perhaps we need to clarify our purpose, what Sunday School can provide for the person seeking help to grow as a disciple. Then we could, like AA, communicate that our requirement for membership is a desire to grow to be a disciple of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
When was the last time you asked adult Sunday School attenders why they come? When was the last time you asked them what they wanted to get out of the time? When was the last time you asked what Sunday School was preparing them to do and be? When was the last time you asked attenders to think about how Sunday School could help them to grow into the disciple that Jesus wants them to be?
Help attenders consider that the voluntary choice of Sunday School is more than simply a choice of whether to attend or not. Instead, it is also a choice of how much we want to get out of Sunday School. It is a choice of how much we want to grow and thus invest in the experience of Sunday School. We can choose to study the lesson each week and learn more. We can choose daily to have a quiet time. We can choose to ask questions during the lesson. We can choose to ask someone to hold us accountable to grow as a disciple. We can choose to ask someone to mentor us. We can choose to be faithful to attend class.
On the other hand, many attenders don’t think about the voluntary choice they have to grow as a disciple. They need leadership. They need examples. They need testimonies. They need challenges. They need invitations. They need encouragement.
Be a teacher, a director, or a leader who expects and asks for more. Don’t demand, but help attenders consider the investment in becoming His disciple. Lead them and let them make the choice. When they choose to grow, they will learn more and grow more! Be revolutionary!