It is God in His Word who has the power to change lives. And lives do need to be changed! People need to encounter the God of the Bible. Imagine the results! What can Sunday School teachers do to join God for life change that is so much needed?
I like what Rodney Pry has to say in an article entitled Does Sunday School Really Make a Difference? Pry offers four essentials for lessons leading to life change. All of these essentials must be immersed in prayer. In Part 1, I will share the first two of Pry’s four essentials listed in all capitals followed by my commentary:
DEFINE YOUR OBJECTIVE. Having spent time in prayer seeking God’s leadership, where does he want the Bible study session to go? What are you to accomplish through the encounter? What results does He expect? It is essential to know where you are to head before you start. When the direction has been established, I agree with Pry, “Everything that you do in class that day should center on that primary purpose.” Build according to plans. Reinforce the main truth. Deliver on pursuit of the one objective. Help learners to get it! For more information, check out Wisely Choosing Sunday School Teaching Methods, Part 1, Wisely Choosing Sunday School Teaching Methods, Part 2, and Creating a Safe Zone for Discussion in Sunday School/Small Groups, Part 1.
CENTER YOUR LESSON ON THE BIBLE. Bible study sessions can be invested in many things. I remember a whole hour spent discussing the previous meeting of the deacons. I remember a whole hour intentionally spent in fellowship. Fellowship and supporting the church are part of balanced Sunday School work, but life change is needed! Pray, plan, and prepare a life-changing lesson from God’s Word! Limit the amount of time spent chasing rabbits. Keep the focus on God and His Word. Use additional passages to reinforce the main truth and main objective. Illustrations and testimonies serve only to affirm what the Bible has to say. I have said the same thing as Pry: “Teach with a Bible in your hand.” For more information, check out Can We Return to Using the Bible in Sunday School?, Novel Idea: Teach Them to Use the Bible in Sunday School, Sunday School: Leading People to Have and Obey Jesus’ Commands, Sunday School Teacher Tips, Part 1, and Five Actions to Make Sunday School More Valuable, Part 1.
Where does your teaching effort need adjustment? Which of these two essentials is in need of a strengthening effort? What can you do this week to address that essential? In Part 2, I will share two more essentials. Define your objective. Center on the Bible. Help them use the Bible. Get them involved actively in learning God’s tru th. Be revolutionary!