6 Resolutions for Sunday School Teachers in 2018

It's a new year and many of us make resolutions.  To me a resolution is more than a goal, it is defined by it's root word, "resolve".  It is defined as "deciding firmly on a course of action".  Goals are often made in the hopes they will be accomplished.  Resolutions are made after careful consideration and are pursued with determination according to a well thought out plan.  Goals are the end result, and a resolution is how you get there.  A goal is what you hope to achieve, and a resolution is the game plan.

With all that in mind, I hope that those of you who are leaders resolve to have plans and goals.  I hope you try to set a trajectory for your group and lead them towards an end goal.  So here are 6 resolutions to consider for those of you who are Sunday school teachers or group leaders.

1. Resolve to be a student of the Word

I hope you resolve more than ever be a diligent student of the Bible.  This isn't about just having a plan to help you read more, but about pursuing avenues to help you go deeper in your study of the Word.  This might involve taking an online seminar, reading a book about developing better study habits, or it could be something as simple as determining to devote more time to diving into God's word.  The Gospel Coalition's website has some great free courses from anything like New Testament survey to church history.  It can be a great resource for you.  I also recommend John MacArthur's small book How to Study the Bible or Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods or George Guthrie's Read the Bible for Life. What ever it is that you do, I hope and pray you resolve to be a student of the Word.

2. Resolve to pray often for your people

It's easy to overlook the power of prayer.  It's not that we don't believe in the power of prayer, it's just that we are easily distracted and forget to take the time to just be alone and pray.  Pray for your people often.  Don't just pray for their physical needs, but pray for their spiritual needs as well.  Encourage your class to make a list of people you know who are lost and make it a priority to pray for them.  At least once a month, sit down in a quite place with a roster of the people in your class and pray for them one by one.  Allow this to carry over into your group time.  Resolve to make more time for prayer in class and organize your class into prayer groups.  Also, keep track of and celebrate the answered prayers in your group.  I guarantee making it a priority to pray more will grow you spiritually and it will grow your group closer together.

3. Resolve to lead your group in growing

Speaking of growing, lead your group to be a growing group.  This might mean making contact with folks on your roster you haven't seen in  a while, or it might mean being more intentional to find people in the worship service who aren't connected to a group and inviting them to yours.  The greatest growth potential for any group isn't outside the church it's inside.  Make it a point to seek out the unconnected in your church and try to help them connect with a group.  Also lead your class in being welcoming to visitors.  One way you can do this is by having an outreach leader in your group whose job it is to spot new people and make them feel welcome, or you could have a "bring a friend to class" day.  Encourage your class to not just invite people to church but to invite them to Sunday school as well.  You can't grow your class all on your own, but you will have to take the initiative to get people involved in growing the group.

4. Resolve to promote the unity of the corporate body in your group

It's important to recognize that all small groups are part of the larger body of the church.  A lot of small groups become very tight knit, and at larger churches sometimes a small group or Sunday school class can turn into a church within a church.  It's vital that you recognize that your group exists to support and serve the corporate body of the church.  As the leader, you must promote unity of the body within your group.  You can do this by praying often for church staff and leaders, talking up and promoting church-wide functions in your group and volunteering to serve,  or by just simply making sure that you lead your class in speaking often of the overall mission of your church and encouraging your people to be a part of that mission. Don't allow your class to become a divisive unit in the church, and don't allow criticism of others in the church to take place during your group times. Resolve to promote unity.

5. Resolve to read more

This kind of goes with resolution 1, but I thought it necessary to make it it's own.  Most people who don't read often, don't think they have time for reading.  But it only takes 15 minutes a day.  Read this article from the ERLC and you'll see that just by reading 15 minutes a day you can read somewhere between 20-25 books a year depending on how fast you read.  And read all kinds of books.  Every year I make a book list which usually consists of 25-30 books, and they range anything from theology to church history to science fiction and fantasy to historical fiction.  I do make it a point to read at least 1 biography a year as well as 1 literary classic.  Resolve to read just 15 minutes a day and see what difference it makes in your year.  I think you'll be surprised.

6. Resolve to lead your group in sharing Jesus with the lost

Finally, and certainly not the least important, lead your people in evangelizing the lost.  In addition to praying for the lost, your class should be actively involved in witnessing to them.  This is part of what it means to get your class involved in fulfilling the Great Commission.  So support any and all outreach efforts your church has.  If your church has a class on evangelism, encourage your people to take it, make it a point to share the gospel with the lost yourself, and talk with your class about ways they can share their faith more effectively.  When a lost person you all have been praying for accepts the Lord, rejoice and share that story with the class.  So lead your class to be on mission for the Lord.

I hope these help and encourage you as you go into the new year.  These are all resolutions that I have for myself.  I can do much better in all these areas.  One last thing to remember is don't underestimate the influence one class devoted to God's word, each other, and the lost can have on a church. The excitement from a growing, caring, and thriving small group can spill over to a whole congregation and spark revival.  God's blessings on you this new year.  May we all be found faithful and may God get all the glory for the great things He will do in your classes and groups in 2018.


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