I attended the annual meeting of Kentucky Baptist Religious Education Association today. The members are ministers of education, ministers of preschool/children, professors of church education, retired educators, denominational education leaders, and others. The group meets a couple of times in the spring and once in the fall before the annual meeting. I am a former officer and president of the group. I have been friends with many in the group for years, some prior to coming to the Kentucky Baptist Convention thirteen years ago.
Anyway, the group had invited Bill Search as the speaker for this meeting. Bill serves as the Community Groups minister at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also the author of Simple Small Groups. While Southeast also has Sunday School groups, Bill was asked to speak to KBREA about small groups.
Much of what Bill shared was from his experience and from his book. One simple question directed toward Sunday School classes was worth the price of the meal and meeting. (Remember, I said it was simple!) Here it is:
What are you asking classes to do?
Here are some of my reflections (and questions) since he asked that question this morning. Can we reasonably expect classes to accomplish something we have never communicated? Can we expect them to reach, invite, care, prepare, and _____________ (you fill in the blank) when it was never explained when they were enlisted, was never communicated during training, and has never been shared during any planning meetings?
Classes may not accomplish what we expect, but they will never reach our expectations if we never communicate those expectations. So here is the question for you. Pastor, director, teachers, what are you asking your classes to do? Don’t set the expectation too low. God deserves our best. And classes will seldom be motivated to achieve great things for God when the bar is set low.
What if you expected them to be revolutionary? What if you expected them to be transformational? What if you expected them to be missional? What if you expected them to reach, teach, and care with excellence? What might be accomplished in people’s lives and for the Kingdom? Pray. Communicate expectations. Then lead with confidence. Be revolutionary!