In Part 1, I started thinking aloud about the potential impact of the discipleship tool of the Sunday School. I suggested that thinking should focus on what Sunday School can do to impact one disciple. Then I shared these questions:
What can Sunday School do to take a brand new, baby Christian to help them to become an obedient, Christ-following disciple and disciplemaker? Let’s call the person Ken or Kendra. Don’t talk in generalities, be specific. Don’t limit your thinking to what Sunday School can do on Sunday morning, but include that experience in your responses as well. What can the teacher and members of that youth or adult class (or an off campus small group) do to impact Ken or Kendra in such a way that he/she becomes the person Christ desires? (After these questions, I asked for Comments.)
In Part 2, I continued thinking aloud continuing to invite Comments. There are many ways Sunday School can impact the discipleship of Ken/Kendra. In Part 2, I shared a couple of ways: prayer and Bible study. In Part 3, I will share two more ways that Sunday School can impact the discipleship of Ken/Kendra:
- BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IN CLASS. Connecting to people is a key part of discipleship. Without entering trusting relationships, gaining help from others is difficult. There is a reason that we are told not to forsake assembling ourselves together. We are made for community. And the medium for discipleship is community–community first with God and second with His people. This begins for many Kens/Kendras before setting foot in a classroom. This begins as disciples of Jesus extend His love out into the community and inviting guests to worship, fellowships, homes, and the group time. They are hospitable. This continues as people act in caring ways with the desire for an ongoing relationship. When people trust one another, they can be honest with each other. This is easiest to accomplish in one-on-one. Trust and open honesty are difficult to achieve in a large group. That is why the best environment to encourage this to happen is more often smaller classes–usually under a dozen.
- QUESTIONS. One great discipleship method for Sunday School and for relationships is asking questions. Allow Ken/Kendra to talk. Listen. Really listen. Ask questions because you care–not because you are nosey. Ask questions because you want to understand what he/she is telling you. Listeners make good friends and good encouragers. Ask what is going well in their first steps as a disciple. Ask what they wish they could have done differently when they make mistakes. When Ken/Kendra verbalizes responses, it helps him/her to think through decisions and ideas. Questions help him/her to think aloud in a safe environment. (But don’t ask Ken/Kendra questions in front of a group without his/her advance permission because doing so can be embarrassing–since responding can feel like public speaking which is the number one fear of many).
What else would you add to these two ways? What else would you add beside these two ways? There are so many ways that Sunday School can be a tool for discipleship in Ken/Kendra’s life. Use it. Be revolutionary!