Discipleship Beyond the Classroom

August 03, 2023

The learning that happens in your classroom on Sunday morning is only the beginning of the discipleship process. True discipleship happens when what is learned in the classroom is lived out on Monday, Thursday, or some other day during the week. Encourage your students to live out their discipleship. If your class has not regularly participated in various service projects, start small. Choose one or two ways you can reach out into your community as a class.


Below are several ideas for living out the principles of Scriptures in your community. Some are more important for city communities while others are better in rural areas. Choose something that is appropriate for your specific situation, and watch what God can do through your class.


Some of these activities are more conducive to large-group involvement. These are great team-building activities for your entire class. Other activities might be better done by a couple or an individual. In those cases, you might present the need and request volunteers. As your students get the vision for ministering in their community, they will likely  bring needs to the class. Be sure to allow opportunities for that.


Serve the Homeless

If you live in a city, most likely there is a population of homeless people. Some of them may be going to shelters or have some other way of finding a place to sleep, but many truly have no place to rest at night.


One city has several churches that open up spaces for people to sleep on very cold nights during the winter. If your church has a gymnasium or other large space, you might consider opening up for people to sleep on cold nights. You would, of course, need volunteers to staff it when it is being used. If your church cannot provide shelter, perhaps you can volunteer to staff an existing sleeping shelter.


Many people depend on meals that are supplied by various churches or other organizations. Look for some of these service-providers, and ask what you can do to help. Consider working together as a class to prepare and serve a meal on a regular rotation. The joy of helping others is contagious, and this is a great way of demonstrating the love of Jesus to the less fortunate.


Supply a Food Pantry

Many members of the working class still fall into the ten to twelve percent of people in the United States who are considered “food-insecure.” Ask your class to host a food drive, bringing nonperishable food each week for a month that can then be donated to a local food pantry. You can make it fun by working with other classes in the church to make it a competition.


Sponsor a Service Day

Depending on the skills available in your class, consider planning a “service day” for your community. Some people could cut and style hair, or change the oil or wash and vacuum people’s cars. If you have medical personnel in your church, they can check blood pressure and test blood glucose. Provide hot dogs, hamburgers, or other snacks to your guests.


Help With Yard Work or Home Repairs

Look around at your class and at your church. Do you have older people who may struggle with lawn work such as trimming bushes, removing leaves in the fall, or other tasks? Several people can work together to provide a blessing for those who need it.


Keep a list of people who are willing to help with small home repairs such as a broken lock on a door or other simple home repair that may be difficult for an older person or a single mom. Help those in need connect with someone who can help them.


Provide Meals for Families in Crisis

When a family member is ill, invite class members to sign up to provide meals each day. Check out www.mealtrain.com which allows you set up a meal schedule for a family and avoid duplicate menus.


Provide Childcare for a Single Parent or Young Couple

Offer to babysit for a young couple who need a “date night.” Or perhaps you know of a single mom who needs an afternoon break to shop without the kids or pamper herself with a new haircut or a manicure. Offer to watch the kids for a few hours so she can have that much needed break. Better yet—provide a gift certificate for her to use at the hair or nail salon. Take an age-appropriate book, a game, and/or a puzzle to help you entertain the kids, then leave the item(s) there when you leave.


Provide a Much-Needed “Getaway”

Often, young families are so focused on maintaining the basics of life that they do not or cannot invest the funds needed for some fun times. If you know a young family or a couple who would benefit from a weekend getaway and you live within easy driving distance of a resort or other fun destination, collect an offering to provide a special weekend for them. You will most certainly help them make great memories.


Encourage your students to look for other creative ways to demonstrate the love of Jesus outside the classroom, building a culture of service. The dividends will surprise you.

How to choose a Sunday School curriculum

Sort through your curriculum options with this checklist to find the right choice for your ministry.