Is a person who teaches a Bible study class on Sunday morning a Sunday School Teacher or a Disciple Maker? I believe they are both!
I commend men and women who faithfully teach the Bible every week in our churches. After preparation during the busy week, they share information from God’s Word because they have committed to do so.
Allow me to pose a question. What is the goal of teaching a Sunday School lesson? Is the goal merely to share the lesson? Is the ultimate goal about information or about transformation? I believe the ultimate goal is to see unbelievers in the class come to know Jesus as their Savior and to see believers transformed into the likeness of Christ. So, one of the main goals is discipleship.
I also believe a class can and should focus on fellowship, evangelism, ministry, and worship. I’ll talk about how classes can do that in a future post, but how can the teacher focus on discipleship? How can a teacher move from simply teaching a lesson to making disciples?
Five Ways A Sunday School Teacher Can Make Disciples
- Develop teaching lessons that will help class members become disciples. Keep in mind that you are not simply teaching the Bible; you are teaching people the Bible. The people in your class need to know how to follow God. Prepare lessons that provide Biblical content along with practical applications.
- Apprise class of discipleship opportunities. Become an expert about other discipleship opportunities in the church. Apprise the class when other classes are offered and encourage their attendance. Better yet, attend with them.
- Personally disciple someone in the class. Every Christian is called to make disciples. Focus on one or two people at a time beyond the class and personally disciple them 1-2-1 (See Top 5 Reasons to Disciple 1-2-1 and How to Get Started with 1-2-1 Discipleship).
- Encourage class members to practice spiritual disciplines. Teach class members how to read the Bible, pray, witness, worship, and practice other spiritual disciplines as a regular part of the class curriculum. Donald Witney wrote a great book called Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.
- Lead the class to be involved in missions and ministry. Missional Sunday School classes where class members are involvemed in missions and in ministry can play a key role in helping believers mature in their walk with Christ.
Teachers, keep up the great work! Stay faithful and focus on making disciples!
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Col. 3:16-17 (NIV)