Six Ways to Go Deeper in Your Relationships through Sunday School/Small Groups

Mike Breen & Steve Cockram have a wonderful discipleship book called, Building a Discipling Culture, which I use with pastors. One chapter is going deeper in our relationships with God, the Body of Christ and persons outside the church. Let me share two ways you can go deeper in your relationships for all three.

12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. (Luke 6:12 NIV)

We must go deeper in our relationship with God. Jesus spent a good bit of time praying and developing a deeper relationship with his Heavenly Daddy. Here are two to help your class:

  1. Set up prayer partners in your class. The prayer partners would meet in person or by phone each week to talk about ways God is speaking to them and praying for each other.
  2. Look at possibilities for devotional material or a read the Bible through in a year plans, and share that with your class. My mom is my example in this area. As soon as she gets up in the morning she has two different devotional plans, reading through the Bible and prayer time.


13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot,16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:13-16 NIV)

We must go deeper in our relationship with each other. For your class or small group to really move deeper will require vulnerability. Prayer partners is one place to start. Here are two others:

  1. Be intentional about discipleship. Teachers should be mentoring someone to teach. Teachers should also ask every person in the class to mentor someone in the class in some area of life skills and spirituality.
  2. 2. Provide a social at least once a quarter with intentionality of going deeper. Yes, you can do things like a rope initiatives course for trust building, a retreat (See “Men’s retreat: Creative Ways to Reach Men” in my blogs) where we get away from our routines, but a class meal with fun games and a time to share for prayer works as well. I will never forget a class social in Louisville, where we broke bread together, played the game, “Name that Tune,” then suddenly people were sharing hurts and challenges that led to Kingdom moments!

17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all. (Luke 6:17-19 NIV)

We must go deeper in our relationship to people outside the church. Jesus led the disciples he just called into the crowd of people to minister. There are many ideas that I could share here, but I will limit it to two. (Feel free to e-mail me about more ideas: )

  1. Go on a mission/service project together. When we work side by side on a mission/service project in the community or around the world, it does something to us as we offer God’s love to others. Again e-mail me if you need ideas.
  2. Take a prayer walk in the community. There is nothing like combining all three relationships! As you walk, you are looking for signs of connectedness to the community, praying for your Heavenly Daddy to reveal ways to minister, and working together to come up with a strategy!


As you deepen your relationship to God, each other and your world, great things will happen!

About tonystopic

Seeker and connector to the abundant life as a husband (to Katrina), father (to Tara & Joseph) and Field Strategist/Sunday School Specialist for the Virginia Baptist Mission Board.
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