Over the last three years, I have written more than 100 blog posts that use the word, “care,” in them. Two of these many posts include Does Your Sunday School Class Really Care? and A Simple Two-Part System for Getting Sunday School Class Ministry Done, Part 2. I did not review them all to check on the context, but I know that many of them relate to carrying out our love toward others. This active love, or care, is necessary in order to maintain our connections with each other in class as well as in our efforts to attract others to Jesus.
At the same time, I have written more than a dozen blog entries that use the word, “busyness,” a major obstacle for revolutionary Sunday School. Two of these posts include Do We Really Want Our Sunday School Teaching to Bear Fruit? and Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 1. In my experience, busyness tends to fill up all of the allotted time plus some. The good news (not capital letters) is the word, “allotted,” in the previous statement. Choose how to allot your time. Help them to do the same.
Sunday School classes and small groups can be great contexts for encouraging, challenging, and holding one another accountable. We can walk through life together. We can notice when our investment of time is out of balance. We can pray for one another. We can expect time to be set aside for God, our families, our classes/groups, and our circles of influence. In other words, we can help each other prioritize our time to act out our love.
If we don’t help our Sunday School/small group attenders to recognize how they are investing the limited time they have on this earth, they may not take time to make a difference. Help them to put the big rocks in the jar of their time first. Otherwise, they will fill the jar with small rocks, sand, and water and then be unable to add in the big rocks. Sometimes, we even need to help them to empty some of the jar before some life-altering circumstance, like illness or job loss, forces them to do so.
Look for ways to lead attenders to invest in caring actions in one of these venues: toward God, family, the class/group, and others. These could be quarterly projects for emphasis, but they really need to be continual actions. Nearly every Sunday School lesson and small group Bible study session has the opportunity for application in one or more of those four venues.
Allow me to share one far too brief example of each venue: (1) add 5 minutes of praise to every prayer throughout the day; (2) do something fun together as a family; (3) write appreciation cards to attenders; and (4) pay for the food of the person in the drive through behind you. Lead attenders to focus on one venue or action each week or month. Make it a natural part of being a Christian. Call for reports.
Pray. Dare to care. Evaluate how you spend your time. Prioritize your time in order to invest it in Kingdom business rather than personal busyness. Focus on a venue. Take action. Be revolutionary!