In Part 1, I stated that 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?
In Part 1, I mentioned that 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. The final two of Pry’s four essentials are listed in all capitals followed by my commentary:
HELP STUDENTS LEARN TO USE THE BIBLE. Get them in the Word! Don’t do all the Bible study for them. Instead, lead them to meet God in Bible study. Make assignments for preparation by members between sessions. Divide the group into small groups of 2-6 people. Give them passages, questi ons, and tools–if needed. Form debate groups. Lead them to open and learn to handle (rightly) God’s Word. Teach them so they will be able to do so in daily devotions. For more information, check out Sunday School Teaching Believers to Listen to the Voice of God, Part 1, Sunday School Teaching Believers to Listen to the Voice of God, Part 2, Teaching Sunday School Members to Pray Through Scripture, and Teaching Your Sunday School Class the Spiritual Disciplines of Prayer, Bible Study, Meditation, and Solitude.
MAKE MORE USE OF DISCOVERY LEARNING. Pry says, “The average person remembers about 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they see, but up to 90% of what they do.” This simply reinforces what Jesus commanded us to do to make disciples in the Great Commission: “teaching them to obey I have commanded you.” Teach them to do it! This is much more than head knowledge. The more we get them involved, the more they learn. Work to increase use of multiple senses. Help them to become what Pry terms as “active participants in the lesson” through use of “Bible exploration, interviews, reports, special projects, field trips, teaching and simulation games.” Teach learners the importance of and how to apply God’s Word to their lives. Lead them to understand God’s expectation for life change. Lead them to learn, apply, and live differently as a result! For more information, check out Keys to Increasing Verbal Participation in Sunday School, Addressing Active Sunday School Learners Through Projects, Dealing with a Sunday S chool Dominator, Part 1, Dealing with a Sunday School Dominator, Part 2, and Could Too Much Participation Be an Obstacle for Revolutionary Adult Classes?.
Where does your teaching effort need adjustment? Review Part 1. Which of these four essentials is in need of a strengthening effort? What can you do this week to address that essential? Define your objective. Center on the Bible. Help them use the Bible. Get them involved actively in learning God’s truth. Be revolutionary!