North Valley News | A Ministry of NVBC

What Are You Aiming For

What Are You Aiming For?

written by on the topic of Sunday School on October, 2008

Serving God with Purpose and Passion

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that is the stuff life is made of.” – Benjamin Franklin

Every personal and ministry undertaking in our lives should be done with a specific purpose and a steadfast passion. Time is precious and short, and we must strive to use every moment of our lives for the glory of God. Ephesians 5:16 tells us that we should be “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” How many days, months, and years have been wasted by good people, seeking to do a good work, but without a clear purpose to match their pursuit?

How many days, months, and years have been wasted by good people, seeking to do a good work, but without a clear purpose to match their pursuit?

Have you been given the privilege to teach a Sunday school class? Why do you teach that class? What are you trying to accomplish through that ministry? Have you been successful in your endeavors relating to that purpose? Do you serve in another ministry in the church? How effective has your labor been? You must have a clear plan for why you are doing what you are doing for it to succeed for God’s glory. If not, confusion will abound in your heart as well as in the hearts of those you minister to.

If we are ever going to see God use us to accomplish great works in our personal ministry, we must seek the mind of Christ as we establish the purpose of our labor in that ministry.

I have had the privilege to teach the Good Success Bible Class for the past six years. I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of the last 300 Sundays in this ministry. We have seen souls saved, Christians strengthened, families helped, and laborers sent forth. However, before our first Sunday, I sat down to consider the purpose of this class. I would like to share the four-fold purpose that I have sought to accomplish through this class. I believe that these principles can be transferred to many other ministries in the church.

1. Evangelize…our community with the gospel of Jesus Christ
“For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Every ministry within the local church should exist to strengthen the outreach to the unsaved people in our community and the world. Ask yourself, “How is my ministry making a difference in Heaven’s population?” Each one of us has received the command to evangelize the world. We must be busy about our Father’s business, the most important business in all the world!

2. Educate…Christians in the principles of God’s Word
One of the primary purposes of any Sunday school class is to instruct people in the knowledge of God and His Word. They should be learning more about Bible doctrines, Bible characters, and overall Bible knowledge. When members of your class leave each week, they should know that they have increased in wisdom and knowledge because of the time spent studying God’s Word during that Sunday school hour. Ask yourself, “Are people growing in grace because of my weekly teaching?”

3. Equip…God’s servants for His work in the local church
Saved church members should not be “sitting” in church indefinitely. God’s plan is that they become busy “serving” in the body of Christ. They should be receiving wisdom and knowledge so that they can then transfer that to others. The goal is not to “hoard” as much knowledge as we can for ourselves, so that we become puffed up with how smart we are. The goal is to learn more of Christ so that we can teach more of Christ. The healthy Sunday school class will often have members leaving to go on and serve in other ministries of the church. Ask yourself, “Who is serving in our church because of my investment and training in their life?” “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (II Timothy 2:2). This verse clearly explains God’s plan for perpetuating the Truth from generation to generation.

4. Enjoy…fellowship with likeminded Christians
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). It is good for a class to laugh together, play together, and fellowship together. Fellowship is an important, and often neglected, facet of the New Testament local church. God’s word clearly teaches that we will become like those with whom we most closely associate. Because of this truth, our closest friends and influences should be likeminded Christians in our church. It is so important for Christians to form close relationships with godly people because “iron sharpeneth iron.” The Sunday school class structure provides a wonderful opportunity for these types of friendships to be developed and nurtured. Class activities are vitally important for the thriving class. Ask yourself, “Is my class providing opportunities for the members to develop Christ-honoring friendships in their lives.”

It has rightly been said that “if you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time.” What are you aiming for? What are you striving to accomplish through your life and ministry? As God gives each of us opportunities to serve Him, may we serve Him with a great purpose and a great passion until He calls us home by death or the rapture!

About the Author

Ryan Thompson is the Administrative Pastor of North Valley Baptist Church. He is also the church bus director and teaches an adult Bible class. His most recent book is entitled Making a Difference.

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