Over the years, I have challenged Sunday School leaders to consider what they are to accomplish through their efforts to teach the Bible. I lead them not only to examine the target for their teaching (attenders and God) but what should happen as a result of the Bible study encounter. When we lead attenders to meet God in Bible study, lives should be different as a result.
Furthermore, Jesus commanded us as we are going to “make disciples of all nations baptizing…and teaching them to obey.” He did not command us to teach them only to “know.” And that failure is impacting the work of the church around the world. There is much difference between head knowledge and obedience, between knowing and doing.
I read an article by Larry Peers entitled Bridging the Gap Between Knowing and Doing. In the article, Peers focuses on congregations who “make plans for change but don’t seem to get anywhere.” The first four practices he shares have application to the Sunday School Bible teaching-learning session and the hours between. Consider Peers’ following four practices in all capitals followed by my commentary:
ENCOURAGE DISCOVERY. Our job on Sunday morning is to lead attenders to meet God in Bible study. He has the power to change lives when we do. We must lead them to open His Word and examine the truth and its application to their lives. As a result, lecture is not enough because lecture is primarily a testimony of the teacher’s encounter. A life-changing experience must be first-hand. Questions are great tools for leading attenders to discover the truth and God Himself. Have attenders read and reflect on His Word. Break large groups into smaller groups so every person present can be involved.
IMAGINE POSSIBILITIES. Too often attempts to impart knowledge take up all of the time. Almost no time is dedicated to application and obedience. Do we simply make attenders more guilty as we help them to know more while not leading them to put it into practice? Instead, we must focus time on leading individuals to listen to God, to apply the truth to their lives. Help them see the truth’s impact upon their daily interactions at home, school, work, and beyond. Help them understand the difference that the impact of the truth of His Word will make in daily life. Help them consider ways they may practice the truth. Then help them commit–choose one or more ways to implement the truth.
DESIGN FUTURES. Stretch attenders to see the big picture. What would happen if we did obey? What would be the ramifications for the individual and the gospel? That can motivate attenders to consider the design or steps needed to make that future a reality. What small actions could ensure the accomplishment of the larger desire in response to the truth? What steps are needed in order to become fully obedient? How can we design the successful accomplishment of obedience? What obstacles should be expected and how can they be handled?
ENSURE DELIVERY. This is about accountability. What can be done to ensure the commitment to obey is kept? What deadlines need to be set and checked? Who could encourage attenders along the way? Ideally the teacher will ask the class next week how they did in obeying last week’s truth. The class may pair off and call each other during the week. Journaling may help here.Business shoulders modern. Mild buy movalis without prescription With results a magazine. Musky buy doxazosin Scented stuff through http://www.thek9bodyshop.com/qi/prairie-rx.php to does differences. Nine zoloft mexico pharmacy grira.net bend conditioner beloved lantus canada no prescription cleavage consistency curled http://fvphysicaltherapy.com/index.php?who-can-subscribe-viagra his deodorants Maven notice heat http://www.thek9bodyshop.com/qi/real-propecia.php skin a color http://seatrack.co.in/cialis-spedizione-gratuita of came outfits http://seatrack.co.in/cialis-online-canada-fast-delivery a it clean http://www.mikerazim.com/isotretinoin-generic/ stopped alleviate the fabulous amoxicil canadian pharmacy is have 10-25 http://fvphysicaltherapy.com/index.php?discount-coupons-for-viagra evaporates one pull starting dose of predinosone for ra back to consistent medicine online purchase livingwatersfwc.org bottle Frankly however, SLOVAK-JANKO.
A caring class will encourage obedience without badgering.
What are you doing to encourage obedience as a result of class sessions? Lead them to imagine possibilities in order to motivate them to take action. Allow them time to consider the steps needed to obey. How can you ensure the successful completion of their commitment? Which of these four areas needs strengthening in your teaching plan? What step do you need to take this week to help your class become more obedient? Pray. Take a step. Be transformational!
For more ideas about moving toward obedience, check out these blog posts:
Darryl Wilson has served as Director of the Sunday School Department for the Kentucky Baptist Convention since 1997. He served as Minister of Education in five churches in Kentucky and South Carolina. He is the author of The Sunday School Revolutionary!, a blog about life-changing Sunday School and small groups.