Sunday School: Leading People to Have and Obey Jesus’ Commands

Monday 26th November, 2007

I read a verse today in my quiet time that spoke to me. Allow me to share it. Take time to meditate upon and/or pray these words of Jesus:

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him" (John 14:21, NIV).

How can Sunday School classes undergird, support, and carry out these words of our Lord? Let's think about what can Sunday School do to . . .

  • HELP ADULT ATTENDERS TO HAVE (KNOW) HIS COMMANDS? What is the best way Sunday School can ensure that adults know God's Word and specifically what Jesus has commanded? Several things come to mind. Use the Bible. Make assignments. Get learners in small groups. Learning styles must be addressed in order to increase retention. Involvement in the learning experience also helps. Review is essential. Allow time for learners to think through and respond to what was taught. Realize that learning does not have to stop once the group session has ended. Ask them to memorize verses. One of the best ways to teach them to have His commands is to lead them to obey Him/them (see the next section).
  • HELP ADULT ATTENDERS TO OBEY (APPLY AND DO) HIS COMMANDS? The way to make disciples is to baptize them and teach them to obey (Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20). This involves extending an "invitation" at the end of every group session for learners to respond to our Lord's expectations. Prayer together is important. This also involves leading learners to determine action steps in order to be obedient. Accountability is essential. Why not ask learners to report in the next session what they did and then do so in the next session? This could be done with the whole group, in small groups, or in pairs.
  • HELP ADULT ATTENDERS SHOW JESUS THEY LOVE HIM? According to this scripture verse, when we lead them to have and obey His commands, "he is the one who loves me." But here is the caveat: it is not leading them to hear, think about, or plan to obey. No, it is more! It is leading them to have (know) and obey (apply and do) His commands. Teaching them content or knowledge is not enough. It is the marriage of the two.
Evaluate your teaching. How are you doing at marrying the two (knowledge and obedience) in your teaching efforts? Which of the two needs more work in order to be effective at leading them to love Him? What step can you take this week to being addressing this need? Pray. Prepare. Teach to change lives. Lead them to obey Him. Be revolutionary!
For more ideas about teaching for life-change, check out these blog posts:

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