What if everything we did related to Sunday School was planned to produce learning AND life change? How would that change the Sunday morning experience AND everything we do to support Sunday School in outreach, member care, and mission?
As His disciples, Jesus commanded us to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20, ESV). “Observe” in the Great Commission is about a change of direction, obedience, and life change. Where there is no learning, there will be no life change. But we cannot stop with learning!
Where there is no relationship with Jesus, there will be no motivation for this change. And where the relationship is weak and not actively pursued, the motivation for obedience will be weak. That is why Sunday School works to lead attenders of every age to develop a quiet time which nurtures a living, growing relationship with our Lord. Doing so contributes to learning, life change, and relationship!
SUNDAY MORNING. Going back to the opening question, think about how an intentional focus on learning AND life change would change Sunday morning. When we work to accomplish both, we think more about those who will be attending and their discipleship needs. We focus more on outcomes. We spend time preparing for actions which will help attenders consider the response God expects, committing to pursue a course of obedience, and checking on “observing” efforts.
And on Sunday morning, all of the time is not spent on examining the passage, context, and truth of the passage. This must be done in order to apply and live out the truth, but if all the time is spent on the passage and none on life change, then we as teachers have led members to be guilty of knowing more that they are not obeying. To know and not do is sin! Consider James 4:17: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (ESV).
How else does a focus on learning AND life change shift the Sunday morning experience?
In Part 2, we will look at how a focus on learning AND life change shifts our plans and efforts for outreach, member care, and mission. Stop going through the motions. God and His people deserve our best. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!