The vision of every adult class is to have an increasingly bigger and bigger class!
No! No! No!
It is to grow and mature members to carry out the work of the church.
Along the road to growing the Sunday School or small group ministry many adult leaders get trapped into believing bigger is better. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with bigger as long as it accomplishes the ultimate goal.
Pastors, staff and key leaders have not helped adult leaders stay out of the trap. Far too many times, adult leaders have been recognized and rewarded for having bigger classes. Key church leaders should be rewarding the adult leaders who are equipping members and sending them into the harvest.
Plan to Mature Members
Maturity does not just happen because you join a class. The wise teacher knows his/her pupils and uses the lessons each week to challenge them to grow and mature. In addition, the teacher begins to involve pupils in meaningful ways as they minister. First, just like Jesus, they take them along and they minister, and then they send them out to experience ministry on their own. All along the teacher is filling in the blanks with the insight and wisdom found in the Bible.
Help Members Connect the Dots
The Bible teaches us that God has uniquely created each person, given them spiritual gifts and allowed them to develop skills. As a result, each person is especially equipped and gifted for certain ministries. The adult teacher’s role is to help class members discover God’s preferred future. David said in Psalm 37:4 (NIV), “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” As we get in harmony with God our desires match His and we begin to experience the rich blessing God has for us.
Commission Members to Serve
As we expect members to move into ministry and service, attitudes and perspective change. Classes with the attitude shift never lose members, the members just get a picture and a place on their missionary poster board. Prayer requests are filled with reports from members who are now serving in other ministries and classes. Fellowships are times for current class members and members in service to build relationship and celebrate what God is doing. Things like, “we are losing Bill and Sally today” are never heard. Instead, you will hear about the new ministry the class is taking on and that Bill and Sally will be heading up the work.
Determine now to make this year a record year for sending out class members into ministry.