Lately it seems the only thing certain about the investment world is uncertainty. But while financial investments may fail, investments made in the lives of people through the local church will stand the test of eternity. Sunday school leaders with growing classes have made a habit of investing in their students. Paul modeled this heart when he wrote, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved” (2 Corinthians 12:15). Consider making the following deposits in the lives of your students:
LEARN ABOUT THEM
Learn about their school, their job, and their interests. Discover any needs in their lives and in their families. Over time, you’ll also learn their strengths and weaknesses, and you will be able to personalize your ministry to them.
DISCOVER THEIR NEEDS
The hour you spend in the classroom will not be enough to understand the needs of your students. With the Holy Spirit’s assistance, you will learn needs as you spend time with your students, observe their behavior, and ask questions. If you will pray for each student by name throughout the week, the Lord will guide you in learning and meeting needs.
FELLOWSHIP WITH THEM
Peter wrote that we should “Use hospitality one to another without grudging” (1 Peter 4:9). Have people into your home, go out for pie to a nearby restaurant, or gather together over coffee. The Sunday school classes must be the smaller setting within the church where we learn names, share laughs, and bear burdens.
Visiting the homes of members and prospects is the work of the Sunday school. Paul “kept back nothing” as he taught “from house to house” (Acts 20:20). Elmer Towns once said, “A home-going teacher makes a church-going student.” Carve out time each week, not just to “make rounds,” but to strategically visit friends of class members, absentees, those going through trials, those who need to be saved or baptized, and prospects you have met in the community.
When you make deposits of time and energy into the lives of your class members, the dividends are changed lives. Every Sunday school leader is wise to make these sound investments.