“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8 NIV)
Is Sunday School and small group Bible study about knowing God’s Word? Take a moment and reflect upon the question. Sunday School and small group Bible study is knowing God’s Word, but isn’t it more? Yes, I know that God’s Word is a Living Word as well and the Holy Spirit begins to speak to us as we read. In class, what is our objective?
In previous articles I wrote about vision, I shared that Sunday School is about The Great Commandment and the Great Commission. It is about a relationship with Christ that draws us closer to Him (Loving God and Neighbor), and guides us as we live out our daily lives in making disciples. I can go to any university and get information and Bible knowledge. Sunday School and small groups should be about a deeper relationship to Christ, each other and bringing hope and good news to our world. Here is a great article by Thom Shultz on the subject: http://holysoup.com/2015/03/31/when-jesus-becomes-a-fill-in-the-blank/ Permit me to share an example:
In many training events, I have used a Leonard Sweet illustration and embellished it from my own experience. I asked participants to share their earliest recollection of chocolate candy that someone bought for them. They will tell me Hershey’s, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, M&M’s, and more. I shared my favorites and then I shared this: If mom gave me a choice of buying one candy in the store as an eight year old, I chose a Pez dispenser with a superhero! Is the candy better? No! I wanted the toy. It was not just for the toy, but for my imagination. I ate the candy while I dreamed of being Spiderman, Batman or (my favorite hero) Superman. I imagined what it would be like to be that superhero.
Teachers, our job is not just to teach Bible knowledge. It is to facilitate good questions that leads to an experience with the Risen Lord and how I should apply the Scripture to my daily life. It is an honest conversation of where people are, what God’s Word has to say in order that they may attune their life to Jesus as they live out of the Great Commandment and Great Commission. What needs to happen to create such an environment in your class?