CARING: AN ESSENTIAL FOR ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL

Courtesy Baptist General Convention of Texas

As I observe the adults (ages 42-50, give or take a few years) in the Sunday School class which I teach on Sunday mornings, I notice that they all seem to have a common need - to receive care from other persons. They all seem to appreciate warm greetings from others, hearing their names spoken, knowing that others are praying for them and their families, being asked about various matters of concern in their lives, etc. In fact, the caring atmosphere in our class probably exceeds Bible study as the main reason many members and prospects participate. I believe the caring or ministering function is essential in adult classes, and it seems to be at least as important as the reaching and teaching functions.

Since caring seems to be so important to adults and since it is an important Biblical and Christ-like characteristic, how can we insure that every adult in our class is cared for appropriately? One approach is to enlist care leaders and to assign up to six members or several couples from the class to each care leader. Each care leader is responsible for caring for the members of his/her care group. Of course, the care leader may enlist other persons in the care group or class to assist in providing care or ministry. Also, as the class grows, additional care leaders should be enlisted so that no care leader will be responsible for more than six members or several couples. In a coeducational class, a married couple may serve as co-leaders of a care group.

Although care leaders may develop their own unique styles of ministry, it is helpful to provide training for them and to provide a list of caring actions which they should accomplish on a regular basis. Here are some caring actions which could be included in such a list:

  • Contact each member of your care group on a weekly or regular basis to determine ministry needs, to receive prayer requests, to communicate prayer requests from other class members, to remind him/her of the next Sunday's Bible study topic, to communicate information about upcoming events for the class or church, etc.
  • When a ministry need is discovered, either minister to that person on your own or enlist other class members to assist in ministry. One example would be enlisting several class members to provide food for a member's family during a time of bereavement or illness. Involving others will allow those members to experience the joy of ministry, and it will prepare them to be care leaders in the future as the class grows.
  • When a prayer need is discovered, communicate that prayer need to the class prayer leader so that it may be shared with the class if appropriate.

No matter how many adults are members of your Sunday School, appropriate use of the care leader/care group concept will insure that every member is cared for and that no care leader is assigned too many persons for whom to care. May God guide and bless your class and your church as you reach, teach, and care for adults.