Sunday School’s Neglect of the Second Encounter, Part 10B

Thursday 13th August, 2009

Even with a great start, the middle and closing moments of the second encounter can be full of activity that leads nowhere. In fact, these moments can be flat, lifeless, and counterproductive. They can be busy but accomplish nothing. What does it look like when the middle and closing moments of the second encounter are neglected? Consider the following:

  • without proper planning, the middle and end of the lesson stall out;
  • the teacher loses steam and direction in his/her leadership of the lesson;
  • the teacher hasn’t met God and doesn’t know the material and talks less resulting in the class talking more—both without purpose;
  • the teacher hasn’t met God and doesn’t know the material and talks more resulting in lack of involvement by the class and ownership of the experience;
  • there is a lack of awareness of the presence and movement of the Holy Spirit;
  • “my ideas” rather than God’s truth becomes the focus;
  • no effort is made to lead learners to open God’s Word or meet Him themselves;
  • the lesson makes no sense;
  • fun and work are not balanced and the experience becomes drudgery or unproductive;
  • the end of the lesson is rushed and incomplete;
  • no time is given for thinking, reflection, or silence in response to the lesson or truth;
  • the experience is a string of activities which are unconnected and fruitless;
  • examination of God’s Word takes place without any application to life or any invitation to respond;
  • no assignments are made;
  • no attempt is made to maintain attention of learners;
  • the lesson is boring because it doesn’t relate to learners;
  • disciples are not further along in being developed;
  • relationships are not strengthened;
  • guests are not involved; and
  • the Lord is not honored.

Wow, that is some list! Unfortunately it could be longer. An excellent life-impacting second encounter begins with an investment in the first encounter and good lesson planning. And the early moments prepare for, create interest in, and launch the second encounter. Then, a teacher working toward a revolutionary second encounter keeps moving purposefully toward leading learners to know and do the truth. Neglect is common here because finishing the second encounter well is hard work. But lives and the world depend on the outcome.

For previous entries in this series, check out these blog posts:

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