Matthew 14:14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Jesus was always sensitive to those around him and showed compassion. Part of our responsibilities as teachers is to model compassion for class members. As I have said before: Sunday School is as much about nurturing and cultivating the soil as it is about planting seeds. People will hear you and the Word of God more effectively if they see you care. Here are some ways to show you care:
1. Spend time in prayer for them. It is helpful to spend time in prayer for each of your class members each day anyway, but I have discovered the Spirit moves when we are open through prayer. There have been times I have been praying that I felt the urge to call or visit a church member and discovered they were in a crisis. Listen to the Spirit as you pray.
2. Pay attention to class members on Sunday morning. How do they enter your class? Are they excited and talking to others or downtrodden and sitting in the back? It may suggest a need to talk to them during the week, and find out what is going on in his/her life. Be open and available to the Spirit leading.
3. Care Groups are essential. Teachers cannot do it alone. If you need ideas or how to set up care groups, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you. A Care Group Leader will have the opportunity to assist you in caring for the class and providing ministry.
I am reminded of a recent story of two of our team members, Tom Stocks and Eddie Heath, as they served. Both were picking up necessary supplies to show compassion to our BGAV churches at a Catalyst event where we supply lunches and dinner. They were at a grocery store to pick up drinks.
That morning, they met Mitchell (a mentally challenged adult) who was working at the grocery store and helping them load several shopping carts of drinks. As Mitchell approached to help them, Tom noticed his name tag and said, “Mitchell, when do you finish your work today?” Mitchell said with a smile on his face, “I get off at 5 p.m.”
Tom said, “So what do you like about your job?” Mitchell replied, “I like helping people.” To which Tom replied, “Helping people is a good thing.” Mitchell replied, “Well it’s my thing!” May the same be said of us!