You're about to take your wife out for her birthday, and you check the mailbox on your way to your car. It's a card from your small group leader, wishing her a happy birthday. Or perhaps your youngest child is about to have tubes placed in her ears as a way of combating the numerous ear infections she has had lately. The night before the procedure, your small group leader calls, offering to take your third-grade son to school to help you get to the doctor's office on time.
It's nice to know the leader of your weekly adult Bible study has an appreciation for what's happening in your family's life and wants to assist you in the difficult world in which you live. Family care responsibility is at the center of what we're trying to achieve as teachers in Bible study. There's a good reason for that emphasis.
The Bible consistently affirms the family's strategic role in the kingdom of God. In the family, God establishes our most significant relationships and builds our character. The church and small group cannot take the place of the family. It's unrealistic to think you can meet the needs of adults by yourself. As much as possible, you need to partner with the family in your Bible teaching and leadership efforts. Once partnering is a priority, you discover many ways to do this. Here are some suggestions:
- Begin by recognizing the power of the family in building or possibly destroying, personal faith. Most of us can point to numerous ways our own faith was shaped by events and experiences within our families. Acknowledge the family's power and commit to partnering with the family in your teaching.
- Create a bank of information for each family represented in your class. It may be as simple as notes scribbled on a piece of paper or as detailed as a computer database. Tell the class you're doing this and why. Record facts about family members, ages, birthdays, anniversaries, moving histories and so forth. The collected information gives you valuable insight.