Revolutionary Sunday School is Sunday School that makes the most difference for our Lord and His Kingdom’s work. As such, no pastor can do all of the work necessary to accomplish this by himself. Nor can any Sunday School director or even teacher do so. Revolutionary Sunday School requires that we work together. But it is not even the combination of the pastor, director, and teachers that causes Sunday School to be revolutionary. No, it takes even more participation in the work!
EVERY member has a place and part to play in the effective ministry of the Sunday School. Every member is needed and should be invited to make the Bible study session, relationships, and ministry life-changing. What, then, are some of the opportunities that members have to contribute to the work of the Sunday School class?
I read an interesting article written by Gene Taylor who is a an author, elder, and evangelist in a Church of Christ in Florida. His article about what members of a Sunday School class can contribute is entitled What Can I Do? In the article, Taylor refers to Sunday School classes as Bible classes. Taylor’s points are in all capitals followed by my commentary:
ATTEND EVERY BIBLE CLASS. Seek to learn more about God’s Word and how to apply it to your life. Plan to attend weekly. Your faithfulness will result in growth in knowledge, understanding, and life-change. Learning benefits from repetition and building on what we already know. Studying God’s Word with a small group of believers can encourage you to grow to be the disciple our Lord wants you to be.
BRING/ENCOURAGE OTHERS. People like to be invited, even if they don’t attend. Some are waiting for the invitation. Offer to pick up a friend, relative, associate, or neighbor. You could well be used by God to lead a friend to Christ by inviting them to class. Meet them at an entrance. Walk them to your class. Sit with them in class and worship. When opportunities arise, share your testimony or Sunday School testimony. Encourage them through stressful times of life. Your presence means a lot. Pray with them.
DO BIBLE LESSONS. Study the Bible passage in advance of the Sunday School session. If you have a pupil book, read the lesson early in the week. Ask God to speak to you. Pray over the passage and lesson. God will use your preparation in the class and maybe during the week. Your understanding and discussion will be richer. You will remember more, and you will be even more ready to absorb the truth God wants you to apply to your life and live for Him!
PRAY THAT THE BIBLE CLASSES BE EFFECTIVE. God wants to pour out His blessings on you and your class. Pray for your teacher. Pray for members and guests who will attend. Pray for receptivity to the truth God desires for every heart to hear. Pray that lives will be changed. Your prayer makes a difference!
PARTICIPATE IN CLASS DISCUSSIONS. Do more than be physically present. Do more than listen. Participate actively. Get involved in discussion. But don’t take over! Think about what is said. Apply it to your daily life. Hearers only remember 20% of what is said in 72 hours, but those who say and do what is being learned remember 90%. Invest in your learning and in the learning of others. I just read a recent Josh Hunt weekly newsletter (Teacher Tips) that said that the two words that can transform any lesson are “I disagree.” The class will perk up and listen. We sh ould never do so to create conflict, but we should seek to look at other sides and bring in other perspectives.
VOLUNTEER TO TEACH. Express your willingness to assist your teacher in any way may help. Be willing to lead a small, break out group from the class in a discussion. Be willing to prepare a brief report on a subject that is relevant to the lesson. Listen to God’s voice. Follow His leadership. Offer to substitute. Volunteer to be apprenticed. Seek out training. Grow in your relationship with God and your Bible skills and knowledge. Be willing to step out to teach a class on your own.
What a great list! In Part 2, we will look at additional ways that members can strengthen their Sunday School class. If you have no expectations of your members, they will grow less. They will stretch less. Expect a lot and watch them surprise you! Share this list. Ask them to covenant with you to make your class one that God can use to change your community and world one life at a time beginning with you. Be revolutionary!
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