Author Archive for Dwayne Lee

Why Reach the Lost?

 

It is a simple question with a simple answer. Yet we ask, “Why don’t we see more of it?” or “Is it really my responsibility?” We understand what the Bible says about reaching the lost. We’ve read Matthew 28 and Acts 1. We hear the words of Jesus echo in our minds. We have seminars and provide conferences and resources. There are so many ‘how to’s’ that I think we have forgotten the ‘what for’!

Statistics indicate 92% of Christians will not share their faith. Why? It could be for a number of reasons, such as a fear of speaking—yet we talk about our favorite team or food. Perhaps it’s a lack of training, but when an evangelism conference is offered it’s the lowest attended training of them all.  Could it be that Jesus is just not that high on our list of things to talk about?

I don’t mean to sound harsh, but please agree that souls are at stake and we should be willing to do, or say, anything to keep them from an eternal hell. Remember, we are asking, “Why Reach the Lost?” I say, “Why Not!” Isn’t that part of the joy of the Christian life, walking this path so that we can bring others along with us? Even if people don’t agree with us or doubt what we’re saying, we can be like Philip in John 1 when he was asked, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” His response was only this, “Come and See!”

Dwayne Lee is the Associate Team Leader of the Bible Teaching/Leadership Resource Group of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.

What Every Student Needs in Their Sunday School Classroom

welcomeWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? The Bible conveys to us that we have been made creatures have need relationships. I know that many might disagree with that statement, but it the core of our being I believe we all desire community.

Certainly there are those moments when we all look for that time of peace, quite and solitude.  I look for that myself, but at the end of the day we need relationships. We need people in our lives that can be there in the good times and in the bad. Your small group or Sunday school class is a great place for that to happen.

WHAT DO I DO? Community begins to take place when you do things outside of the classroom or group time. Too many times we simply go to church, go to our class, listen to the lesson, move into the worship time, get into our cars and go home without communicating with anyone.

I’m not talking about the casual “hello” or “How is it going”… I’m talking about connecting with people you are doing life with. My wife and I have made connection with a couple in our group and every week we are together we always talk about the next time we are getting together to grab a burger! Then it’s at the restaurant we can really begin to laugh, share, pray and enjoy each other’s journey and hear what God is doing in their lives.

So make the effort to start (or continue) those relationships within your group and see how God will use that to spark new opportunities.

Hebrews 10:25-25: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

The One Thing You Could Do in Your Classroom to Help Reach More People

groupprayerWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Many church leaders have said jokingly, “Ministry would be fun if it was not for people…” But the fact is that “there would be no ministry if it were not for people!”

For too long our Sunday school groups have been inwardly focused, social clubs, or cliques (yes, I said it). One of the main purposes when Sunday school was established was reaching out to bring in other people. Jesus Himself said, “Go out into the highways, and hedges and compel them to come in…”

WHAT DO I DO? So what is ONE thing your class or group could do to reach more people? Her is my one thing: Prayer!

What do I mean when I say prayer? Let’s call people out by name! David Francis, Director of Sunday School for Lifeway Christian Resources reminded us in one of his “Franciscan epistles” that a class becomes a little more of a community when members of the class start praying for people by name.

Most of our classes have prayer time built into their group, but seldom when I sit in classes do I hear lost peoples’ names mentioned. Is it because we do not know any lost people? I’m sure that is not the case.

We are surrounded by lost people all the time, so start thinking about the one (or three) people you could pray for this coming Sunday.

Romans 10:1: “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.”

The Reason We Teach

biblegroupWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? We’ve all heard the old story about the Sunday school teacher who was teaching her class one day. She was describing this particular creature that was small and gray and had a long furry tail. As she continued with her description, one of her kids raised their hand. The teacher said, do you know the answer? The little boy said, well, it sounds like a squirrel but I’m going to say Jesus!

WHAT DO I DO? Jesus should be the reason we do what we do? As Sunday school teachers we have to start there. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who asked me to teach?
  • Why did they ask me to teach?
  • Do I enjoy teaching? Why?
  • Do I understand the responsibility of my role?
  • Am I excited for each Sunday and its opportunities?
  • Do you sense a calling in your life to teach, or are you filling a need?

There are many other questions that you could ask, but the biggest one is the first one: who asked you to teach? I’m sure you thought of the Sunday school director, pastor, or minister of education who stopped you in the church hallway to ask you that staggering question: “Would you be interested in teaching a Sunday school class?” I would challenge you to go deeper to ponder the question, “Did Jesus ask me to teach?”

Consider the words of Paul in 2 Timothy 1:9: “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began…”

Live to Lead

Leadership Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

I stood in front of a group of Sunday school leaders the other day and ask them the question, “When you think about leaders who influenced your life who comes to mind?” One by one they began calling off names that readily came to mind. Then I ask another question, “If I were to ask your Sunday school class the same question, would your name be one they would mention?” That question silenced the room! I then ask one more question, “Do you consider yourself a leader?”

You understand that without leaders you have no leadership. Leaders influence people to cooperate toward on the same goal, which they come to find desirable. Leaders have two important characteristics: they are going somewhere; and they are able to influence others to go with them.  You may remember this Chinese proverb that says, “He who thinks he leads when no one is following is just taking a walk.”

We know that leadership comes in various forms and styles and not everyone leads the same; however, those who lead exhibit leadership traits that set them apart from the rest of the group. You are a leader start acting like one. Learn from those God has placed in your life. Glean from the things they are doing right and even from the things they have done wrong. Leaders learn from their mistakes and grow in the midst of their circumstances. Take it all in, learn from it all and come out the other side a better leader, a better follower of Christ, and a better disciple.

_______________

Dwayne Lee is a specialist for the Bible Teaching/Leadership Resource Group of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio