How to Teach Them to Obey: By Example

Friday 21st July, 2006
In the Great Commission, Jesus commanded us to make disciples by teaching "them to obey everything I have commanded you" (NIV). There are so many key words in the phrase. Them refers to all nations. He used obey rather than know--much different. Everything does not allow for teaching only the parts we prefer. I have commanded you reminds us of the example and teachings of Jesus and that these are not just suggestions.

What does it take for us to teach to obey? I had lunch today with a friend.  I led a conference in his church recently and emphasized the phrase, "teaching them to obey (not just know)."  It made him think.  The more he thought, the more he realized how different teaching to obey really is.  What he said to me today made me think.  He said that teaching to obey requires an example.  How true!

How are you teaching your attenders to live out His commands? How are you using your example?  Consider the phrase, "
The leader is the lesson."  Are you showing your class how to put Jesus' commands into practice in their lives?  Jesus' example is important:  He did not spend all of His time with the group, but spent time mentoring Peter, James, and John individually and as a small group.  Example is often best learned in pairs or trios.

Could it be that revolutionary Sunday School needs more than lecture? Could it be that we need to spend some of our time with individuals rather than all of our time with the group? Could we be neglecting the tool of our example?  Could it be that we need to discover needs of learners in order to know how best to use the lessons of our life and words so they can learn to obey? Could it be that we neglect to seek His leadership in preparing to teach and fail to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit? There are so many questions.......

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