Most teachers know how Sunday School is supposed to work. They know the goals are for lives to be touched, disciples made, people reached, leaders developed, friends connected, and ministries launched. They realize that classes are great places for apprentices to be trained and new classes started.
But life has a way of getting in the way of best intentions. For many, that results in just going through the motions. In turn, some of these classes become closed, often unintentionally. No one is invited to class or to any fellowships or projects. Each week, members affirm the teacher on the way out with “good lesson,” but they fail to apply the biblical truth. No new leaders are trained, no new classes are started, and no one dares take any members out of the class to serve elsewhere.
But somewhere there is an appropriate balance between (1) classes that only desire a quality experience of group Bible study and (2) those that want to impact the world. What is the difference between inwardly-focused and outwardly-focused classes? The word that comes to my mind is MOBILIZATION.
What do I mean by mobilization? Simply, mobilization is about sending people out. Remember, Jesus commanded His disciples in the Great Commission to “go and make disciples of all nations.” He did not say to wait until they come to you. On-mission classes have a Kingdom mindset. It is not about my kingdom but about HIS. These classes send attenders out to minister. Every class participant is challenged to make a difference in the world.
These classes seek to fill the open chair. They reach out. They invite guests to fellowship and project activities and to class. They ask people to enroll. These classes intentionally send leaders out to teach preschool, children, and youth classes. They train apprentices and send seed groups out to start new classes. They pray for leaders who leave. They pray for reaching and ministering efforts. They pray for the Kingdom. They expect God-sized results.
The class teacher is the key for a class to have a mobilizing attitude. A statement is relevant here from John Maxwell’s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. In chapter one, Maxwell states, “Your leadership ability–for better or for worse–determines your effectiveness and the potential impact of your organization.” Teacher, if you don’t lead, they won’t follow. Your leadership is worth the time and worth the effort!
Teacher, your example, expectation, and leadership do make a difference! Lead your class to send people out. Mobilize. Touch lives. Serve. Care. Pray. Follow Jesus’ example in Mark 6 of sending them out and then calling for a report (v. 6). Expect attenders to live the truth. Expect them to make a difference in the world. Expect God to transform them and your world through them!
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 churches in South Carolina and Kentucky. He is the author of The Sunday School Revolutionary!, a blog about life-changing Sunday School and small groups.