Adult Sunday School teacher, if you try to do it all, your class members will gladly let you do it all! Well, maybe that’s a little cynical way to look at service through your Sunday School or Small Group Bible study, but the truth is most people prefer to be served rather than serve.
Care Teams, Care Group teams, ministry teams, whatever you want to call them, can play a key role in helping your group fulfill the Great Commission Jesus gave in Matthew 28:18-20, to go into all the world to make disciples. Most adult Sunday School classes and Small Groups are already organized for Bible study. The great need of the hour is the personal touch of these ministry teams, making certain all the members and non-members alike, are loved and cared for.
Although every adult class or group is different in its unique ministry context, a good strategy in organizing the class is to enlist a care leader for every 4-6 people. These leaders may difficult to enlist at first, but as the class/group experiences new opportunities for ministry and service, as people see the value of service to others, it is probable servant-leaders will step up to help.
Teacher, start enlisting small, setting a goal of enlisting a new care leader each month until you have the number of teams needed for effective ministry in your class. Too many members in a care group will tend to overwhelm a leader. It’s best for men to be with men, and women to be with women in care groups/teams, if it’s a couple’s class.
As your class or group organizes itself for ministry to members, non-members, members in service and inactive members, needs will be met, and servants will mature. The teams can each include a variety of these “members.” Adult teachers enlist others to share the ministry God has called them to.
In closing, Jesus taught His disciples (and teaches us) in John 15:13-14, “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” It’s through service, ministry to others, inside the church and outside the church, that we grow in our obedience to Christ. This does not mean, of course, that we are saved through our obedience, but that our salvation is evidenced by our love for God and service to others.
Care teams are still an effective strategy for classes and groups to help the teacher share the ministry load, but also for members to invest their lives in eternity. Who can you prayerfully enlist today?
Written by Jeff Ingram, Adult Ministry Specialist, Louisiana Baptist Convention