[symple_heading style=”” title=”The Church and Education” type=”h1″ font_size=”40″ text_align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”30″ color=”undefined” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]
This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.
For use: November 22 – 28
Texts: Luke 10:30-37; Matthew 5:14-16; Luke 4:18-23; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:6-8
Kaniya Slusher is a remarkable young adult. The 19-year-old not only pulled herself out of a family situation marked by poverty and alcoholism to build a six-figure-a-year business, she uses her success as an opportunity to mentor others. The St. Louis Mental Health Board recently presented her with a $2,500 grant to recognize her work in helping others realize their dreams.
She owns Major Beauty Salon, where she and her eight employees spread her message—“You’re not subject to your environment.” One of her employees, Elizabeth “Sugga” Randle, met Kaniya shortly after she opened her salon. “A 19-year-old was telling me ‘You can do this,’” says Randle. “A person that I don’t even know believed in me, and now I’m living out my dream.”
Mikayla Woods, another former client and now Slusher’s lash tech, gives God the glory for her connection with Kaniya. “She’s just very inspirational, and I’m very grateful for her because I feel like God sent her into my life,” Woods said. “God sent her into my life at the perfect time. We all love it here. She’s an angel. God took his time on her.”
We in the church can also become involved in natural opportunities for God-ordained mentoring relationships. We often only equate our educational ministries as formal, organized settings such as church schools and events like training programs for members. The most effective educational ministry, however, can be as simple and organic as our one-on-one connections. Jesus modeled this form of discipleship while on Earth.
Jesus met each of the disciples personally. He invited them to follow along to gain an understanding of the kingdom of God on earth. Jesus ministered to others while His followers observed Him in action. Then Jesus gave them assignments to go out two-by-two and perform the same ministry. When they returned, Jesus took time to debrief with them on their experiences. When Jesus returned to heaven, He left behind a team of people, educated and equipped with the Holy Spirit to continue spreading the gospel of the kingdom.
We can continue Jesus’ model of mentoring the next generation of leaders and ministers today. Jesus has called us to be beacons of light in a world engulfed in darkness, exhibiting love to an unlovely world. Just as points of light catch the attention of those wandering in the dark, our lives of peace and joy will be attractive to those who hunger and thirst for hope in the midst of chaos. Our mentoring mission is simply to be available to connect with the people God brings into our lives and include them in our ministry activities. These personal connections will provide an education that can change lives for eternity.
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Connecting: Can you identify someone who took you under his or her wing and helped you grow and mature? What is one thing that this person did that made a difference in your life? Share your reflections with your group through your online social connections.
Sharing: Read Mark 6:6-9. How would you respond to Jesus’ assignment to go on a mission trip with nothing but the clothes on your back?
- If I knew for sure it was Jesus calling me, I would gladly obey
- That wouldn’t work today—it was common for people to provide hospitality to strangers then, but not so much today
- I would need a lot of personal mentoring beforehand to feel comfortable with this
- It would be easier if I went with someone who I know will have my back
- All the training in the world won’t replace the learning environment that comes from actually stepping out in faith and doing it for yourself
Applying: The best mentoring relationships in the church often develop naturally, but is there some way you can create opportunities for these bonds to materialize? Say, a system to connect mentors with potential mentees?
Valuing: Is God calling you to share life with someone who needs the benefit of your experience? How comfortable do you feel initiating that connection? In whichever safe way you are meeting during this pandemic, connect with one other member of your group sometime this week and pray for each other for the wisdom and ability to become that mentoring partner.
~ Chuck Burkeen