Since then, his comment has stuck with me as a Bible study leader. Does what we talk about on Sunday really make a difference on Monday morning? The question challenges me as a teacher to consider several things.
First, do I take seriously the types of challenges class members face each day? Not everyone is in their dream job and may have to struggle to get up and do to work on Monday morning just to pay their bills and care for their families. Some find themselves in stressful situations that may be not only physically but morally challenging. A reality for many is the possibility that their employment may end at any time due to down-sizing or reorganization.
Second, do I understand the family concerns that my class members face? Families come in all types--married with children, blended, single parent, empty-nesters, and sandwich folks caring for both children and parents. One size does not fit all when it comes to dealing with families. Each family has its own joys and hurts.
Third, do I really believe that the Bible has something to say that will make a difference in the real world? It is helpful to remind myself that Jesus did not preach and teach within cloistered walls but in the marketplace, along dusty roads, and in homes of all types. He was immersed in the real world. He was addressing people with real needs. As a result, I do believe that the Bible is meant for real people with day-to-day concerns.
Fourth, do I seek to help class members apply the Bible and make the connection with weekday life? This is the biggest challenge of all since everyone has their needs and concerns as well as being at different places in their spiritual lives. If Bible study is to be relevant, I must ask good questions so they can find places of connection and listen carefully to their concerns.
Does what we say on Sunday have any real impact on people’s lives on Monday? Only if we seek to make it so.