Our classes/groups, churches, communities and country are not going to be any better than our families. The condition of the families in your class and church will determine the effectiveness of your ministry. So what’s a teacher to do to make sure families are healthy?
First, make sure your family is a priority in your
life! Too many times good people will sacrifice their family for service at the church. Even if you are the best teacher/leader but your family is falling apart, your effectiveness will be lost. What you do with your family should be the role model for others.
Second, make sure that you are praying for all the family members of those in your class/group. You need to be praying for parents, children and grandchildren every day or at least once during the week of those in your class/group. No need to pray for that third cousin living on the other side of the country. Not only should you be praying for them but you should be finding out what needs they have so you can pray specifically. I heard some of you say, “I can’t do that my class is too big!” Well it may be time to start another class and we will cover that in a few days.
Third, make sure the families in your class/group are spending time reading the Bible and praying together. No matter what age you teach, you need to include in your preparation time developing a way for your members to take the lesson and discuss with their family. If you teach children, you need to provide the parents with a simple way for them to reinforce the lesson. The same is true if you teach youth/students. When I taught adults I would give them a half sheet of paper a simple plan for using that days Bible study as a family devotion during the week.
Forth, make sure that families are spending time together and spending time with other families. Your class/group should be planning activities that allow them to spend time together. These activities should be away from the regular weekly church activities. It doesn’t have to be a planned activity; it can be whatever the folks are already doing. Going to the ball game together, taking a weekend trip, attending a piano recital, going out to eat, etc.
The health of the families in your class/group is vital to the making disciples. Are you praying for them? Are you encouraging them to read the Bible and pray together? Are you facilitating opportunities for them to spend time together and time with other families?
Dr. Tim S. Smith serves as a state missionary with the Georgia Baptist Convention and is the Sunday School/Small Groups Specialist. Visit their website at ssog.gabaptist.org for more information and other resources to aid your Sunday School.