Whether it is called a small group, life group, adult class, or Sunday school, it can, overtime, get stale, predictable and boring. Few things are as monotonous and tiresome as a lifeless, cold religious setting without spirit, zeal or excitement. As teachers and preachers, we are to safeguard our classrooms from such dreary settings. Here are a few things you can do to recharge the group you lead.
1. Evaluate Your Content.
People need to know what God has said. They may be drawn to your personality, leadership skills, and charisma, but those qualities are short-lived if there is no biblical content in your presentation. Keep your lesson fresh; plan in advance; and study your lesson multiple times before you present it to your students.
2. Host a Fellowship.
Do something outside of the class. Teaching is validated and more effective when it flows from a solid and personal relationship. Relationships are formed more intimately through activities and events. Gather in your home, go bowling, plan a day trip, have a special prayer meeting. Stay actively engaged with your class outside of your class.
3. Bring Some Food.
This is a no-brainer. People seem to migrate around the table. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate meal or setting. Coffee, donuts, fruit, biscuits, etc., can encourage people to get there on time. You may want to ask others to help you in the serving, preparation, and expense. Food is an easy way to get people involved.
4. Restructure the Seating.
I am not trying to be psychological here, but if someone has been sitting in the same chair in the same spot for the past ten years in your class, it’s probable they are in a routine…or worse, your entire class may be in a routine. Change things up. Rearrange the room, change the seating, redecorate. Small changes will create a different atmosphere, and just perhaps regain their attention. Do this frequently.
5. Be Creative.
Use props, illustrations, diagrams, charts, pictures, slides, testimonies, etc. Jesus was a visual and demonstrative Teacher, we should be as well. We are visual creatures by nature. The goal is to get your students to not only “hear” your lesson, but to “see” it. When they “see” it, they are more likely to remember it, and share it with others.
6. Write Letters to Your Class.
A simple letter or card to your students will not only strengthen your class, it will strengthen the individual. I have discovered that having a system is the best way to stay disciplined in this practice. Organize your correspondence in such a way that each student gets a letter a few times a year.
7. Change the Format from Time to Time.
If you have been in the book Leviticus for the past ten years, there is a good chance your teaching has become predictable. Don’t get me wrong, we are to dig deep and take our time in Bible study, but our approach should be inviting and warm. Change the format from time to time. Ask others to teach. Have a few weeks of open-discussion on particular passages or topics. Use curriculum. Whenever you stay on a particular subject, or with a particular format for an extended length of time, your class is prone to wander.
8. Engage in Evangelism and Outreach.
The Lord divided His disciples into groups with the intent for them to reach their community with the Gospel. Sunday school, like all other ministries, is to propel the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world. Encourage your class to be engaged in soul-winning, community outreach, and gospel-giving.
9. Take on a Project.
Your class is more than a four-wall holding station where people wait for the worship service to begin. Within the structure of your class you have the opportunity to organize change in your community and world. Support missionaries. Sponsor a nursing-home ministry. Bring food, clothing, and items of necessity for those in need. Start a fund. Plan a trip. Utilize your class to make a difference.
10. Have a Personal Revival.
The ministries we lead oftentimes struggle because we need to be recharged ourselves. Ask God to renew your passion and reignite the flame of the Spirit in your own heart. If you are not excited about approaching your class, chances are, your class isn’t too thrilled when they see you approaching.