And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Tim 2:2 (HCSB)
One of the most difficult roles for an adult Sunday School teacher is to equip men and women to serve as God has gifted them. In many cases, members must leave their class in order to serve somewhere else. All of the leaders in preschool, children, students and adults come from Adult Sunday School classes. Adult Sunday School teachers/leaders need to be multipliers.
The key responsibility of every believer and every church is to make disciples. Too often success for a Sunday School class or small group is measured by attendance. The Sunday School teacher/leader that fulfills the Great Commission mandate is measured not in how many you get to stay but in how many you send out.
The real question is how do I do that? How do I disciple adults to be missionaries in our own church and community? The simple answer is that it has to be an intentional plan and action by you. Oddly enough if you have little or no expectation of people in your Sunday School class; they will live up to that standard. They will simply find a spot to squat and soak.
But if your intention is to make and send out “witnesses…who will be able to teach others also”; then your class members will have a
standard to work towards and a goal to achieve. Not everyone is ready to serve at the same time nor in the same way. The key is to work individually to accomplish what is best for each one.
At a church I belonged to in Tennessee, the adult class we joined was taught by Bill. On a Sunday in August he told the class: “If you have sat in my class for 2 years or more, you need to know I have taught you all I know and it’s time for you find a place to serve in our church”. He knew that his job was not to keep people well fed (spiritually) and happy in his class. His job was to prepare each of them to serve.
Not everyone is ready to serve. Our job as leaders is to continually encourage people to discover their role in the “body of Christ”. Maybe it’s time to challenge your people to stand up and step out in order to serve. Start today to plan and act intentionally to challenge and prepare your class to serve. Some will stay and help. Hopefully, many will “GO” and serve somewhere else.
Sean Keith is the Sunday School/Discipleship Strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. www.lbc.org/churchgrowth