Why are you teaching your class? I hope it is more than pressure to serve or flattery at being enlisted. I hope it is more than filling a position that no one else would take. I pray you are serving because of God’s call.
But the question I am asking might be better expressed this way: What are you teaching your class to do? To word it as Paul did in Ephesians 4, how are you equipping the saints for works of service? What are your expectations about your attenders at the conclusion of your service as teacher? How do you expect them to have changed? What do you expect them to be doing?
If you have no destination, you will wander aimlessly. Without a teaching target, you will be less likely to lead the people in your class to grow as disciples. In preparing each lesson, ask yourself how your class will be better able to serve, share, obey, walk, and live as His disciples.
For instance, what if you focused on teaching them to discover their gifts, abilities, personalities, and passions and find a place of service in the church and community? You have a target. Your lesson(s) will naturally help you to lead them to hear and respond to God’s Word about serving. You might set a date for sharing about how everyone is serving.
If you focused on leading the class to share Jesus with others, this destination will guide the lesson journey through passage and truth examination and application. This might include a challenge for members to pray, write, call, and visit someone to share Jesus. This might include writing a testimony, sharing it in pairs in class, and then sharing it with a family member as practice before prayerfully seeking an opportunity to share it with a lost or unchurched person.
Your destination changes the lesson preparation, delivery, and results. A destination lends itself toward intentional follow up. A destination clearly communicates that Sunday School and the Gospel are much more than Sunday morning. It raises expectations.
Where is your lesson headed? Think about that the next time you begin prayerful preparation. Listen to God in your personal encounter in His Word and prayer. Then allow Him to lead you to the spot where the lesson needs to head with the sheep in your care. Then plan lesson steps to carry out the plan. Watch what happens in their lives when the destination leads them to take steps they were not taking before!
Darryl Wilson serves as the Sunday School & Discipleship Consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He served as Minister of Education in five churches in Kentucky and South Carolina. He is also the author of The Sunday School Revolutionary!, a blog about life-changing Sunday School and small groups.