When we open God’s Word, He has a message for us. The message and encounter are personal and life-changing. They are invitations to a real and personal relationship with a BIG God. They are invitations to trust Him, follow Him, and obey Him.
Sunday School and small group leaders work toward leading participants to meet God in Bible study. The group leader facilitates the experience in order to get the group in the Word–to an encounter. He/she seeks the group’s participation and asks probing questions. He/she leads them to listen to God’s still small voice and seeks to lead group members to apply His message and truth to their lives.
Every experience of Bible study, whether private or group, is an opportunity to respond to God’s individual invitation. Every Bible study session should lead to a personal response. In fact, the invitation should be prayed for, planned, and not rushed. Far too frequently the lesson goes long and no time is given to the invitation.
Jesus called us to make disciples of all nations “baptizing…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Did you see it? He expects us to teach not for head knowledge but for obedience, for life-change. To teach content and not give an invitation (an opportunity to respond in obedience) is to short circuit Jesus’ command.
Take time to pray about what God wants to do in the lives of those you teach. Take time to pray about the invitation He wants you to extend for Him. Take time to prepare the invitation, and take time extend that invitation. One more thing, take time to follow up on responses to the invitation the next week. Seek obedience! Seek life-change! Be revolutionary!