I love my Sunday School Class. I not only love the unity of spirit in that we all want to be disciples of Christ, but I also love the diversity of backgrounds, opinions, and levels of Spiritual Maturity represented in our class.
Over the past year, our little class really had a growth spurt and it has caused me to wonder why people attend (or don't attend) Sunday School. I did a little online research and I discovered that there is a tiny discrepancy between what Sunday School "promises" and what Sunday School Members "expect". Here are 2 examples that illustrate the discrepancy...
I found these "8 reasons to join Sunday School" listed on a random church website:
1. You will understand the Bible better in a Small group.
2. You will begin to really feel like part of God´s family.
3. Prayer will become more meaningful to you.
4. You will be able to handle stress and pressure better.
5. You will have a natural way to share Christ with friends, relatives, and work associates.
6. You will develop leadership skills you never knew you had!
7. You will deepen your understanding of worship.
8. You will be a New Testament Christian
THEN, I found these 3 reasons why people said they actually joined Sunday School:
THEY ARE LOOKING FOR FRIENDS.
THEY ARE LOOKING FOR HELP.
THEY ARE INTERESTED IN THE TOPIC, TEACHER PERSONALITY, OR PRIMARY TEACHING METHOD.
The most impressive thing that I discovered is something I have heard expressed in many different ways over the years....People are looking for friends. People want to feel like they belong. People want to feel like it matters that they are present. When they are absent, they want to know that they were missed. When they hurt, they want to know that someone cares.
We put a lot of pressure on a Sunday School teacher to make a class "work", and it IS the teacher's responsibility to make sure that he or she teaches God's Word...but it seems that the things that people are really looking for from a Sunday School class are things that the teacher really can't do alone.
As we, the class members, are growing into disciples, we can practice sharing the Love of Christ with those in our class. We can practice being alert to hurts and needs. We can practice mentoring. We can practice so that when we are called to be disciples out in "the world" and called to love the "unchurched", we will be experienced and hopefully these things will be natural to us.
What better place to "practice" loving like Jesus loved than in a Sunday School Class? As I mentioned earlier, my class is made up of a diverse group of people. We have different needs and are in different stages in life. There are NUMEROUS opportunities each day to let someone know that they are loved and valued.
What better way to mentor our less mature Christian brothers and sisters on how to care for each other, forgive each other, and see each other as Christ sees us than by caring for them, forgiving them, seeing them with Christ-filled eyes and loving them like Christ does?
After all, we are all works in progress...
Perhaps this post was better suited for "Thursday Thoughts"...oh well....
Have a great day!
"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi.