Every youth pastor can share frustration about students only offering up Sunday School answers during small groups or discipleship groups. Many Sunday School lessons or small group curriculum are written as a time of question and (one-word) answer instead of helping students to engage in conversations.
While I can completely share in these same frustrations at times, these aren’t my greatest frustrations when it comes to students’ answers in groups.
Not only are Sunday School answers simple one-word answers from students, but they also are the ones that students repeat over and over again. The reason students repeat the same answers over and over again are because most questions are written to be answered by those same answers.
“Over the years in youth ministry, I feel like the Sunday School answers have changed. The go-to Sunday School answer over the past several years has seemed to morph into “God’s glory.” While I’m all about God being glorified, I believe that the vintage Sunday School answer better clarifies and personifies God’s glory: JESUS CHRIST.”
I want to share with you many reasons why I believe we should get back to the Sunday School answer of “Jesus.” But first, I want you to know that I believe not only every Sunday school answer, but also every lesson, sermon, study, devotion, event, and trip should ultimately culminate in Jesus. Jesus should be the reason and the motivation for everything we say and we do.
“I am certainly not a Jesus-only student pastor, but I am Jesus-always!”
Here are 10 reasons why I believe we need to get back to Jesus as the Sunday School answer.
- Genesis 3:15 – Jesus is the promise of God from the very beginning.
- Luke 24:44-46 – Jesus said everything in the Old Testament was all about Him.
- John 5:39 – Jesus said al the Scriptures bear witness about Him.
- Acts – All of the sermons of the apostles culminated in Jesus.
- Romans 8:29 – Our ultimate goal is to be conformed into Jesus’ image.
- 1 Corinthians 2 – Paul decided to know nothing except Jesus and the cross.
- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 – Jesus is the center of the Gospel.
- 2 Corinthians 4:4 – Satan agrees with God that Jesus is the key to life.
- Ephesians 1:9-10 – Jesus is the will of God.
- Philippians 2:9-11 – Jesus is the glory of God.
I absolutely believe that we need more open-ended, thought-provoking, and discussion-based questions when it comes to our group times in youth ministry. But I even more passionately believe that all of our questions should ultimately lead to and culminate in the person and work of Jesus Christ. No matter what verse, theme, doctrine, or series, making sure that you’re leading your students to follow Jesus by revealing Him to them.