Leading an EPIC Sunday School Lesson, Part 2

Saturday 17th May, 2008

I mentioned in Part 1 that Sunday School still works when you work the Sunday School! But the day of blindly accepting mediocre Sunday School is over. The day of putting up with mediocre lessons is gone. It is time to be revolutionary. It is time to expect, to prepare, and to present EPIC Sunday School lessons.

In Part 1 I explained what I mean by EPIC? EPIC is an anagram used by Leonard Sweet in his book, Post-Modern Pilgrims: First Century Passion for the 12st Century World. EPIC stands for Experiential, Participatory, Image-driven, and Connected. Sweet descibes the shift from the modern to the postmodern perspective: from rational to experiential, from representative to participatory, from word-base to image-driven, and from individual to connected.

In Part 1 I applied the first two sections of EPIC (Experiential and Participatory) to encountering God in Bible study in the Sunday morning time we call Sunday School. In Part 2 we will examine and apply the last two sections: Image-driven and Connected.

  • IMAGE-DRIVEN. Today, 60% of adults are visual learners. As a society, we are immersed in images. We are surrounded by billboards, pictures in newspapers and magazines, mail have pictures on envelopes, and training often includes images. Add to all of that the hours spent in front of the television and computer and the number of movies watched, and you begin to see how immersed in visual imagery. The best communicators today know how to utilize this medium. Jesus was well aware of the impact of images. He drew lessons from items in life. What can we do to make our Sunday School lessons to be more image-driven? Tell stories. Share object lessons. Share testimonies. Look for relevant newspaper clippings. Watch for moments in life when God is illustrating the truth for Sunday. Lead participants to share about times when... Use every teachable moment in class and in life. Apply the truth to where they live.
  • CONNECTED. We live in a connected world. We are connected through the internet, through television and radio, and through airplanes. But sometimes we are more aware of what is happening around the world than we are next door. We often become cocooned, closed off. We enter our homes and close the doors. The world is a hurting place in need of ministry and salvation. The body of Christ has healing to offer in Jesus Christ. That means we must re-connect with our world in order to help them to connect to Him. How can we lead Sunday School to be more connected? Lessons must connect with life. Application cannot be ignored. Sunday School classes are great places for accountability to practice biblical truth that has been learned. Next Sunday is the right time to check on progress. Classes can be loving, challenging environments for growth toward obedience. They can also serve as an impetus to reach out in love and to invite into relationships and class. They can mobilize to meet discovered needs in the class and community. Sunday School helps members connect with God, with each other, and with real people in their daily paths.

How can you make your lessons more image-driven and connected? I suggested last time checking out Sticky Sunday School Lessons and Crafting a Sunday School Lesson to Lead to Learning AND Action for more information about lessons with impact. Pause now to consider your usual teaching style? Is your teaching EPIC? Stop now to share about your most memorable Sunday School lesson which was experiential, participatory, image-driven, and/or connected. Press the Comments button below to let others see how Sunday School is life-impacting. Stop teaching mediocre lessons! Be EPIC. Be revolutionary!

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