Sunday School teachers and attenders will get out of Sunday School what they put into Sunday School. The more they prepare for the experience, they more they will get out of it. The more they pray for it, the more blessings they will realize from the experience. The more people they invite, the more lives they will potentially see changed (including their own).
One of the best way to make the experience better is come to Sunday School with the right attitude. Rick Warren has written a great paper/article entited First Steps to Spiritual Growth: How to Have Meaningful Time with God. In that paper, he suggests four attitudes can make a difference in your quiet time, but I want to suggest that these same attitudes are needed in our group Bible study sessions: expectancy, reverence, alertness, and willingness to obey. Consider how these four attitudes can revolutionize the Sunday School session experience:
EXPECTANCY. This attitude by itself can dramatically change the experience. Do you enter expecting to meet God in Bible study? I like how Warren put this: “Come before God with anticipation and eagerness.” Do you expect to learn? Do you expected to be challenged? Do you expect to be convicted? Do you expect to be blessed? Do you expect to be changed? If you expect nothing, that is likely what you will receive from the experience. Expect God to be present and to move in your life. Expect to be different as a result of the experience. Expect to be involved. Expect to enjoy relationships with those in attendance. Expect to be stretched and to be held accountable to apply the truth.
REVERENCE. When you open God’s Word, God speaks. Honor Him! Recognize His presence and awesomeness. I like what Warren said here: “Don’t rush into God’s presence, but prepare your heart by being still before Him and letting the quietness clear away the thoughts of the world.” Wow. Again, that attitude by itself would dramatically change the Bible study experience. Recognize His greatness and worth. Recognize how insignificant you are but how much He loves you anyway! Pause. Be still. Be quiet. Pray. Listen.
ALERTNESS. Give your best effort in Bible study. Prepare for the Bible study session by resting well. Eat appropriately so you will not be distracted by hunger. Give God your fullest attention. Prepare as you would for meeting the most important person in the world! Arrive early rather than late. Focus on what He is saying rather than allow your mind to wander. Be fully present in the Bible study experience rather than thinking about your week, grocery list, fight on the way to church, or what you have to do at school or work that week. Be observant and attentive!
WILLINGNESS TO OBEY. Enter with an attitude that you are willing to do whatever God says–whether it is easy or hard! Expect to meet God in Bible study every time. Expect God to speak. Expect Him to want you to be changed as a result of the encounter! Be willing to go where He leads. Be willing to do what He expects. Be willing to become the person He wants. Don’t enter into Bible study for yourself but for Him! And don’t just be willing to obey! Do it. Hold yourself accountable to follow through. Keep a spiritual journal. Check on your obedience. Share with a prayer or accountability partner. Be serious about obeying Him!
On which attitude are you weakest? Where do you need to invest more effort in bringing your best attitude to every Bible study session? As the teacher, what do you need to do to help those in attendance to address their attitudes? Do you have a testimony to share about a change in one of these att itudes? If so, press the Comments button below and tell your story! Give your best to God in every Sunday School session! Be expectant! Be reverence! Be alert! Be willing to obey. Be revolutionary!