I wrote Disciple-Making Encounters to emphasize changes that teachers, pastors, and disciples need to make in our relationship with God. We need to adjust ourselves in the first, second, and third encounters with Him. The result of an encounter with God involves listening and responding obediently to Him in Bible study. Keep in mind that God will continue to connect with us beyond Sunday morning.
An encounter with God is not limited to the walls of the class or church. Henry Blackaby and Claude King word it this way in Experiencing God:
God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.page 43, Experiencing God, 1990
In Disciple-Making Encounters, I emphasize moments in our weekly experience or three encounters. The first encounter is when the teacher opens God’s Word during preparation and personally encounters God and is changed. The second encounter is when the teacher guides the class to open God’s Word to encounter Him. The third encounter begins the moment that the teacher and class walk out the classroom door moving toward an obedient response and relationship with Him.
Third Encounter Responses
For the Sunday School class, the third encounter results in individual and class response. When we open God’s Word, God speaks a message that changes our lives (individually and corporately). The class may be led to invite, mobilize care, launch another class, and more. Individuals may be led to seek forgiveness, reconcile, abandon sin, stand for God, and more. Chapter 19 of the second edition of Disciple-Making Encounters shares many practical suggestions. Keep in mind the “continuing love relationship” that God desires for you and your class! Make disciples. Be revolutionary!