Who is the audience of your lesson? In a previous post, Sunday School Only for an Audience of One, I identified our main audience: God. He should be our focus and target. He should be the One from whom we seek approval. We should lead our classes to understand that fact.
At the same time, our classes are made up of unique individuals. Who are they? Do you know them and their preferences? Do you know how they learn best? What do they know about God, His Word, and each other? In other words, do you really know your audience?
Knowing Your Audience
Knowing your audience is critical for every communicator. The more you know them, the better you can tailor your message to their understanding and needs. In the case of Sunday School, that can make an eternal difference. It helps teachers focus and be more effective in moving attenders toward God and His preferred future for them.
Glenn Brooke wrote a well-written blog post entitled Prepare a Lesson with Specific Individuals in Mind. He says that lessons prepared for “an ‘abstract’ audience of fake people” leads to ‘babbling, not life change.” Exactly!
Getting to Know Them
Time spent in class only provides so much relational opportunity. Deeper personal understanding requires more time. Greater gains will tend to be made through focus on one or two individuals. That simply means time away from class is essential.
In today’s face-paced life, teachers can choose to teach generic lessons to unknown people or life-changing lessons to people known and loved.reflection on what Glenn Brooke said
Last week, the wife of my Sunday School teacher sat with me, my associate pastor, and another member of our class in a hospital waiting room before and after my wife was taken into surgery. Those minutes until surgery was finished were precious. All three are busy people, but care brought them there at that time. The conversation was as rich as the care.
Do life with your members. Be with them in the midst of life’s stresses and trials. Pray with them. Listen to them. Encourage them. Call them at lunch. Send them cards and notes. Seek out the absentees. Connect with the guest. Get to know them away from class and watch how the lessons begin to matter even more. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!