In my travels as a Sunday School consultant and trainer, I have been in many classes over the years. When I go to preach, train, or consult on Sunday, I make a special effort to arrive in time for Sunday School. Obviously, the pastor or Sunday School director seldom take me to their worst class. This has given me many opportunities to observe. One area frequently missing from the teaching-learning experience is the use of review to make disciples.
Set in a Sunday School class, review is an effort to remind participants about the lesson (last week’s or today’s). There are many ways to accomplish review. The teacher could simply and quickly go over the main points from the lesson. The teacher could give questions to triads about the lesson. Or the teacher could ask a series of review question like these…
- Which passage did we study?
- What was the point or main truth?
- What was its relevance for life?
- How did it call you to adjust your life?
- Will you? Did you?
Review to Make Disciples
As I mentioned, review is often missing in lessons. There are two main reasons for this. One is that the teacher must plan for review (how and when). The second is that the teacher must understand the importance of review to make disciples.
There are many stumbling blocks to review happening in most classes. Too often the teacher rushed through preparation. Too little time may be given on Sunday because of not starting on time, announcements, prayer, etc. A habit of using review has not been established.
But when a teacher uses review consistently, some things are noticeable.
- There is no dread, like in school when taking a test. Instead, there is frequently excitement.
- Often the number of persons participating in the lesson increases.
- Review leads attenders to remember the scripture and truth better.
- Review helps attenders understand what was important and why it was important.
- Because it leads to remembering and understanding, greater application and obedience of the truth often results.
- Review examines life through the lens of scripture and often leads to a scriptural worldview.
So review at the end of the lesson helps the group focus the truth’s impact. Review at the beginning of the lesson, helps reinforce the learning and encourage application and obedience. (In fact, it can even check on obedience.) Yes, it takes preparation and time in the Sunday morning schedule. But the benefits for disciple-making can be huge. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!