Growth Support: Sunday School Providing Encouragement

Friday 1st January, 2010

Did you make any New Year's commitments? Were any of them goals for your relationship with God and living for Him? Your spiritual growth impacts every other area of your life. It is not too late to make a commitment/set a goal.

STOP, PRAY, and COMMIT. If you have not already done so, I want to challenge you to stop now to pray about what commitment will lead you to be the person God desires. When you have a commitment to keep/goal to pursue, then read the rest of this blog post.

SUNDAY SCHOOL ENCOURAGING GROWTH. Life has a way of distracting us from keeping our commitments to God. It is easy to become busy. It is easy to for new plans to take a back seat to the demands and pressing issues of daily life. That is why we need spiritual growth cheerleaders who encourage our continued growth and pursuit of commitments and goals. We need cheerleaders who know us, care for us, and challenge us to work harder and smarter toward being the person God desires. We need spiritual growth cheerleaders who hold us positively accountable rather than piling on guilt.

There are many methods for providing cheerleaders for our spiritual pilgrimage. (1) One method is seeking out a person who will commit to mentor us. This may be a person in the Sunday School class you attend or another class. (2) Another method is joining an accountability group--frequently of the same gender. (3) Others will benefit from keeping a spiritual growth journal with insights into God's activity in life and commitments made/goals set and progress reports.

In addition to these three (and others), another method for encouraging spiritual growth is investing openly, honestly, and intentionally in a Sunday School class. Ask for the class to help you grow. Ask them to help you keep your commitments. Share your goals, plans, and progress. Be honest about your failures and seek input about how to avoid them in the future. Your openness and honesty will encourage your growth and that of others.

Every week when the lesson concludes, focus on one aspect of your spiritual growth in need of attention. Make a commitment to God, the class, and a spiritual growth partner. Then live it out. Implement and practice the commitment. Pursue the goal. Ask your encourager to check during the week on your progress. Reinforce the pursuit by keeping a spiritual growth journal. The teacher can emphasize the importance of keeping commitments by simply allowing a couple of minutes for attenders to share how they did at living out the commitment they made last week.

There are many ways Sunday School can encourage spiritual growth. What ideas would you share to challenge others this year? Share your ideas below by pressing Comments. Stop. Pray. Commit this year and every week. Be revolutionary.

MORE IDEAS. For additional ideas, read the following blog posts about accountability:

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