Adults will find it easier to miss Sunday School classes, small groups, or other Bible study groups that engage in practices they can’t buy into or that make them uncomfortable.
Bible teachers must figure out how they can address these concerns while still standing firm on the truth of God’s Word.
When adults feel the class is a place that lacks the following, they will be less likely to want to be there:
1) a place that lacks authenticity (hypocritical)
Many people are searching for something that is real. They don’t need the church to be one more disappointment. — Stand for truth yet remember to live it as well as teach it.
2) a place that lacks grace (legalistic, judgmental)
Many people have a low self-esteem and already know they don’t measure up. They don’t need condemnation but rather a helping hand to be who they should be in the Lord. — Stand on truth yet remember Jesus’ example with the Samaritan woman in exercising both grace and truth.
3) a place that lacks unconditional acceptance (intolerant, unfriendly)
Many people are already lonely. They don’t need to feel alienated in the Church. — Stand for truth yet remember to love those who don’t live by it or express doubts about it. Remember that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
4) a place that lacks depth (shallow, trite answers to life)
Many people struggle with the complexities of life. They don’t need simplistic answers that avoid their real issues. — Stand by the teachings of God’s Word yet communicate it in such a way that sounds like more than “Christianese” talk but rather is real and meets people where they are in language they can understand.
5) a place that lacks unity (political, drama-filled)
Many people are already disillusioned. They don’t need church leaders and teachers acting like what they find in the world. — Stand up for what you believe yet remember to do it in peaceful and Christ-like ways, not in hostile or arrogant ways that bring nothing but conflict.
Adult Bible classes characterized or perceived by the above deficiencies are also missing another very important key ingredient. They lack focus on Jesus who came to bring just the opposite of the above. Jesus said,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (Jn. 10:10)