“Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
We are to be living, productive, and growing disciples. Whether we connect with the “Great Commission” of Matthew 28:18-20 or follow the mandate of Acts 1:8, we need to have the heart-set passion to not be content with where we are in our Christian growth but with where we should strive to be in our obedience and maturity in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is something terribly wrong in so many of our churches where someone can attend week by week, month by month, and year by year and never change. Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as to divide soul, spirit, joints, and marrow; it is a judge of the ideas and thoughts of the heart.” So if the Word of God is living, effective, sharper, and penetrating, the complacency and stagnancy of so many Sunday School members is not a problem with the Word but with us. The truth is, we have met the enemy and it is I.
The solution to the complacency and stagnancy is the heart-felt realization that we are expected to grow! There has to be from the pastor, Sunday School Director, teachers and class members an expectation and understanding that God wants to be actively involved in their lives on a 24/7 basis. Listed below are some helps in this expectation growth process.
Expect Members to Grow by…
- Having a genuine relationship with Christ. Romans 10:9-10
- Abiding in Christ. John 15:1-8
- Getting into the Word and letting the Word get into you. 2 Timothy 2:15
- Having a focused prayer life.
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- Learning to love one another. John 13:35
- Witnessing to others as light and salt. Matthew 5:13-16
- Ministering to others like Jesus. Luke 4:18
The key is the “Expectation Level” of each individual member, believing that the Holy Spirit is present and wants to empower and guide them as growing members. This expectation level works itself out by the daily and practical application of the seven expectations listed above.