Communication Lessons from the Life of Christ
- Miss Liz is from Oklahoma. She is a curriculum writer. She's a mom. She is a wife. She will tell you more about herself, but we appreciate her. She's an educator. So we thank you, miss Liz for being on with us today and sharing with us how we can be better, better communicators. As we seek to be leaders in our Sunday schools and teachers, leaders, and communicators. So Ms. Liz, thank you for being with us. And if you want to share with us, and by the way, as we move through this presentation, if you have a, you want to chat with Liz about something that she's talking about or she says, now I need you to respond, put that in the chat box. If you do your touch, the bottom of your screen, and you should see a participant, a Q and A chat things that share screen. But anyway, put that in the chat box and she can y'all can chat back and forth. Or she will try to answer dialogue back with you on that. But as she goes through the presentation, if you have a question that you would like for her to answer at the end of our time together, I will have about she'll have about 40, 45 minutes of presentation, and then we'll do a Q and A for about 40, 45 minutes. So you can put your question and answers in the Q and A box and Liz, and I will try to pay attention to those. And she'll be able to answer those at the end of the presentation so that's how we'll do this. If you have a chat, you want to chat with Liz, she's going through that, put that in the chat box and she, and I will try to watch the chat. And if you have questions you want to ask at the end of the presentation, put that in the Q and A box as well. Okay. All right, miss Liz, take it away if you will, please ma'am.
- All right. Thank you so much, Jamie. I appreciate that. I want to say welcome to all of you. My name is Liz Sherrer and I think that the most important thing I could share about myself is that I love teaching adults on Sunday morning, I have had the privilege of being an adult Bible study leader for over 40 years and enjoy riding the leader guide just directions for Lifeway. In fact, just completed the working for next summer when we'll be doing job and Ecclesiastes. So I think that's a privilege that I've been granted over the years to be able to do that, but just like many of you mainly I've been wrestling with, have a lead my group in the past few months. It's been a challenging time to say the least enough about me, really. I want, I would like to get acquainted with you and I look over and I see your names and I'm so thankful that I can see your names, but that's all I can see are your names. Cause I was wanting to get acquainted with you. I was hoping to be at Shockoe Springs with you in person, but little did we know a few months ago that our world would be so different today? Had I known that I wouldn't be able to interact with you face to face I'll be honest, I might have asked for a different topic than communication, but I must admit it is a critical topic for people today, especially teachers today. But yesterday, my grandson, Sam, who just turned 12, ask what I was going to be doing this weekend. I replied that I was leading a webinar on the communication in the life of Christ. After explaining how in a webinar format, I wouldn't be able to see the people or interact with them. He said, wow, that's going to be a hard topic when you can't see or hear from the people sharing the time. I agree. So that means I need your help. Since communication requires a two way channel to exchange information, I'm going to ask you to take advantage of the chat feature for questions, and also to interact throughout the session. Because if we limit ourselves to one way communication, we can experience personal growth, but expect limited growth in the life of others. You also may want to print off the handout that's available for this session and use it for note taking and reflection. And I'll give you some time for that throughout the session. But first let's reflect for just a moment on how communication is both similar and different today from the life of Jesus. How has communication changed in your lifetime? Since I have no idea how young or how old everyone is we might have seen a lot of changes. Anyone remember having a party line phone? How many remember getting your first cell phone? What about the ability to face time with people all over the world? How would you describe how texting and social media have changed the way people communicate? Communication has drastically changed, but even though communication has changed, God's word remains the same rich and lessons still relevant today. Now I can't see you, but I'm going to ask you to signal with a thumbs up or thumbs down, right where you are. And I want you to think whether you agree or disagree with the statement. If you agree, thumbs up. If you disagree, thumbs down. If you strongly agree, you can shake them a little. If you strongly disagree, you can shake them a little and get your brain going in that way. Be sure to remember, there is no right or wrong answer, and I wish that we had a way to discuss each one of these together and see how other people are thinking. But for today, we just need to consider our own thinking. The first statement I'd like for you to think about and whether you agree or disagree is communication requires a receiver to be complete. Think about that for just a moment. Let me think of loud a minute. I can talk, but is it really communication until I'm sure that the other person understands the message? I may think I'm communicating, but I'm I just talking? I think I would agree with that statement even though I think I communicate without even being aware of it or knowing it sometimes. So I think I would have to agree with that statement. Now let's take a look at statement number two, the same methods of communication connect with all people agree or disagree. Whoa, I'm kind of stumped by that word primarily we do a lot of, a lot of oral community talking back and forth and that, I guess we have, we do more of that, but gosh, I'm looking at visual cues, I'm looking at body language, I'm thinking so many other things. I'm just not sure. I don't know if I agree or I disagree. I don't know. Okay guys, I'm going to cheat a little bit. I got a thumbs up and a thumbs down because I can see that. I think we talk a lot primarily that high. I don't know, but I think I'm that got my thinking is about, I'm I really considering outside areas of communication outside of communicating orally back and forth? Let's look at number three.
- Communication is primary. Oops, sorry. The same methods of communication connect with all people. I apologize. I switched those two around as we think about the same method of communication, connecting with all people, I think I have to think. Do I agree? Or do I disagree with that statement? I don't know. I sure know some people that connect with music and that's their thing. In fact, in my in the group that I work with each Sunday, Whoa, I've got half my classes in the orchestra. So music is a really important area of communication. Some people like to see it to know it. So I'd have to disagree. I'm going to disagree with that statement, the same methods of communication connect with all people. Then I think we already looked at number three, the communication is primarily verbal, but let's take a look at the, let's take a look at the next one. Conflicting messages can be received at the same time. Whoa. Think about that one. Agree, disagree. Ooh, that might be kind of like my mom used to say, she used to say that my watch needed to match my talk. So I think maybe sometimes we can give conflicting messages or maybe sometimes it's a matter of perception. I think a word means one thing or the tone of voice, maybe it communicates a little different. I think I'm going to agree with that one that conflicting messages can be received at the same time. Let's look at the last statement. Everything communicates. Whoa. I definitely know now that I have watches that communicate, we have phones that communicate, computers that communicate people that communicate and how we're figuring out how to do that. But I hadn't, I think this is something I hadn't really considered. I understand that I need to be sure that the Bible lesson each Sunday is clearly communicated, but now I may need to think about body language, greeting people, contacting people. I really never thought that what I did outside the Bible study session might communicate as much as what is discussed during the session because good communication requires that something is understood by all participants. And that is really difficult. Today, let's examine parts of the gospel of Luke to discover ways that Jesus communicated and how those same strategies can be utilized or adapted for our world today. As we explore passages in Luke, we will identify six lessons that Jesus demonstrated during his earthly ministry. Periodically we will stop and reflect. And during these reflection points do not hesitate to include a question on the chat feature or in the question and answer box. As we move forward, I will attempt to address your questions in a timely manner or at the end of the session. So let's get started with a, look in Luke chapter five verses one through 11 that's going to, some of these passages are going to lead us up to lesson number one, but in Luke five one through 11, we see Jesus drawing the first disciples as the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear God's word, he was standing by lake Genezaret. He saw two boats at the edge of the Lake. The fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon and asked him to put out a little from the land. Then he sat down and was watching the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch. Master, Simon replied, we've worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but at your word, I'll let down the nets. When they did this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets began to tear. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said go away from me because I am a sinful man, Lord, for he and all those with him were amazed at the catch of fish they took. And so were James and John son who were Simon's partners. Don't be afraid. Jesus tells Simon from now on, you will be catching people. Then they brought the boats to land, left everything and followed him. As we look at this particular passage, we see that Jesus initiated contact. Then he demonstrated his leadership. It appears, he looked them right in the eye and offered them a challenge that would be life changing. As we pause and reflect for just a moment, I think we have to think how frequently do I, or you as a teacher or leader initiate contact with others? Do your learning sessions or my learning sessions offer a challenge and an application to real life because Jesus initiated contact and he challenged the people he came in contact with. But let's take a little further look in Luke by looking at Luke five 29 and Luke seven 36 in these two passages, we find Jesus dining with two different groups in five 29 and 30, it says then Levi hosted a grand banquet for him in his house. Now there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were guest with them, but the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, why do you eat and drink with tax collectors? Then in Luke seven 36, it says then one of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. Jesus dined with Levi and a crowd of tax collectors, and the Pharisees and scribes complained. He was eating and drinking with sinners. In this situation, Jesus stepped outside the norm of time of his time to reach others in Luke seven he Dines with Pharisees. Jesus didn't show partiality in his desire to communicate with all the people who crossed his path. this made me think about some things I better stop and pause and reflect on again. How does your class or my class react to guests, particularly guests of a different ethnicity or economic level. As a leader what are my actions? Are your actions towards guests in your Bible study, communicating to the rest of your group, even within your group do you see people choose to interact with the same people each week? As a leader what strategies might you use to break down the communication barriers between the different individuals in the group? Strategies might include consistently using names throughout the session. That's one thing that as we've been conducting our Bible study session on zoom for the last few months, I think I've really seen the importance of everybody hearing their name, at least once during the session. And what I'm finding is that as I use those names as the leader, that other people are beginning to call each other by name, even people that they didn't know as well, it may be that we just need to have people turn to a neighbor that you haven't spoken to or talk with someone answered this question by talking with someone that you haven't spoken with today, maybe we need to rearrange the chairs. Maybe we need to enlist one or two people to be at the door, to greet everyone, to be sure that everyone is greeted. Even the latecomer, maybe like we did an agree, disagree exercise earlier today, you could just have people moving around the room. That's going to cause them to interact in a different way. Perhaps you have group leaders changing the group several times a year, establishing a prayer chain. All of those strategies help to, to help our groups, to communicate within each other and to become and build relationships. Because Jesus exhibited a nonjudgmental attitude toward all types of people. And as we think about that, there's something else I want us to look at before we get to lesson number one. And I want you to think about Luke 10 verses 38 to 41. When we see Jesus interacting with Mary and Martha, while they were traveling, he entered a village in a woman named Martha, welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary who also sat at the Lord's feet and was listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by her mini tasks and she came up and asked Lord don't you care that my sister has left me to serve alone so tell her to give me a hand. The Lord answered her Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice and it will not be taken away from her. Jesus affirmed in love that Mary made the right choice to listen at the feet of Jesus. Jesus, didn't let his mission and ministry be distracted by other good choices. Let's think for just a minute. Does your class communicate a clear mission that is reflected in the way time is spent during the Bible study and throughout the week, may I offer you a challenge the next time your group meets in person or online evaluate how much time is spent on distractions, outside the mission of teaching, reaching and ministering to people inside and outside the group. Distractions might include a late start. People arriving late or early, extended prayer time that leaves little time for Bible study, a chair arrangement that requires people to crawl over others if they arrive late, remember that many good things can distract from the mission. I hope you'll accept that challenge and look at your group with fresh eyes the next time you meet one more passage, I'd like us to look at before we get to lesson number one is this is Jesus' encounter with Zacchaeus. In Luke 19 one through five, it says he entered Jericho and was passing through. There was a man named, who was chief tax collector. And he was rich, he was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was not able to, because of the crowd, since he was a short man, by the way, I can identify with that. So running ahead, he climbed up a Sycamore tree to see Jesus since he was about to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, Archaeus, hurry and come down. Because today I must stay at your house. Maybe your recollection of that is that a song that you sang I remember as Zacheus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he, as we're saying that in Sunday school, as I was growing up, but Jesus recognized Zacheus needed to see him. He stopped and he spent time with him. And one thing that I really have had to think about is do I have a personal relationship with individuals in the group? What are my actions saying about availability do the people in my group realized that I'm available and that I'm willing to talk to be with them whenever they need to me to be specific strategies that Jesus demonstrated, initiating contact, establishing eye contact, presenting welcoming body language in a nonjudgmental attitude. Lesson number one is Jesus communicated with people through personal relationships. You have your, if you have printed off the handout, you'll see that that would be number one. So Jesus communicated with people through personal relationships, but as we continue on and look for lesson number two, we can look at some other things that Jesus communicated through his ministry honor. Let's look at Luke chapter four verses 38 to 41. After he left the synagogue, he entered Simon's house. Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever and they asked him about her. So he stood over her and rebuked the fever and it left her. She got up immediately and began to serve them. When the sun was setting all those who had anyone sick with various diseases, brought them to him. As he laid his hands on each one of them, he would heal them. Also, demons were coming out of many shouting and saying, you are the son of God, but he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew he was the Messiah. As we look at this and the healing of Simon's mother-in-law Jesus saw the need, and he healed her as well as others who were brought to him. He touched the people and met their physical need for healing. If we look in Luke chapter nine, verses 10 through 17, we find the feeding of the 5,000. I'm sure that's a familiar passage for you as we think about that but do you remember at the end, it says, he told his disciples, you give them something to eat. And he says, we have no, we haven't. The disciples said we have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people. Then he told his disciples, have them sit down in groups of about 50 each. They did so and had them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke them. He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd, everyone Aden was filled. Then they picked up 12 baskets of leftover pieces. Jesus communicated his love for people by providing for the crowds physical need for food. If we look over in Luke chapter eight, we find that Jesus is walking along and let's just, let's just read those verses and see what we discover in Luke chapter eight, beginning in verse 40, when Jesus returned the crowd, welcomed him for, they were all expecting him just then a man named Harris came. He was a leader of the synagogue. He fell down at Jesus' feet and pleaded with him to come to his house because he had an only daughter about 12 years old and she was at death's door, while he was going, the crowds were nearly crushing him, a woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years, who had spent all she had on doctors yet could not be healed by any approached from behind and touch the tasle of his robe. Instantly her bleeding stopped, who touched me. Jesus asked when they all denied it, Peter said, master, the crowds are hemming you in and pressing against you. Someone did touch me, said, Jesus. I know that power has gone out from me. When the woman saw that she was discovered, she came trembling and fell down before him. And in the presence of all the people she declared the reason she had touched him and how she was instantly cured. Daughter, he said to, you said to her, your faith has made you well, go in peace. While he was still speaking, someone came from the synagogue leader's house saying your daughter's dead don't bother the teacher anymore. When Jesus heard it, he answered him don't be afraid, only believe. And she will be made well after he came to the house, he let no one in her with him except Peter, John, James, and the child's father and mother, everyone was crying and mourning for her, but he said, stop crying for, she is not dead but asleep. They started laughing at him because they knew she was dead. So he took her by the hand and called out child, get up her spirit returned and she got up at once. Then he gave borders that she'd be given something to eat. Her parents were astounded, but he instructed them to tell no one what had happened. Jesus expressed love and concern for a woman who reached out and touched him as well as a young daughter. He demonstrated for us that some needs are hidden and some are evident, but both are important. As we pause and reflect for just a moment. I want us to think, how does your class or my class respond to needs within the group? How do you as a learner and leader model awareness of needs and support action to meet the need? I have to admit this week that I was blessed by someone in our group. We have a young man who has struggled with a detached retina since the 1st of June and ended up having his second surgery last week. And he's been off the job. And another person in our group contacted us and said, I think we need to do something to help. How about if I lead that out? And that was a need that needed to be met being off the job. No, as a group, we can't do a whole lot, but we can certainly offer encouragement. And what we decided to do or what he decided to lead us to do was to, was just to provide a gift card that could be used for groceries or for gas to be able to, support them during this difficult time. But I think we have to be aware that some needs are hidden and be praying for those and to, reach out to others specific strategies that Jesus demonstrated as he recognized the need. And he acted to meet that need. Lesson number two is Jesus communicated by recognizing and meeting physical needs. As we think about moving towards lesson, number three, I want us to look at Luke chapter 19 verses 41 and 42. As he approached and saw the city, he wept over it saying, if you knew this day, what would bring peace? But now it is hidden from your eyes for the days will come when your enemies will build an embankment against you, surrounds you in him, you in on every side, they will crush you and your children within you to the ground. And they will not leave one stone or another in you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation. Jesus wept over Jerusalem, recognizing how many would fail to recognize the Messiah. He was honest in his emotions. Let's look at Luke 19 verses 45 to 48. He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those who were selling and he said, it is written my house will be a house of prayer, but you've made it a den of thieves every day. Everyday he was teaching in the temple complex, the chief priests, the scribes and the leaders of the people were looking for a way to destroy him, but they could not find a way to do it because all the people were captivated by what they heard. I think here, we see an example of, righteous indignation that how dare you turn this house of prayer into a marketplace? Jesus was honest with his emotions. So I think as we think about ourselves as leaders, we have to pause and reflect and think about how willing are we to be transparent with our emotions during Bible study Think about it. Have you ever had someone share an emotional experience with your group? How did your group respond? I think we have to think is the response an indicator of trust within the group, do the participants in your group, trust each other enough, to be honest and open, are we as leaders open and honest with our emotions, because Jesus communicated with people through honest emotions, lesson number three. But you know there are three more lessons. we want to take a look at. So let's move towards lesson number four. As we take a look at Luke eight, verses four through eight and Luke 15 verses three through seven, we see the parable of the sower and the parable of the lost sheep. Parables have often been described as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus shared stories that connected to his listeners lives or perhaps we could take a look at Luke six verses 43 to 45. Let's read those. He went, excuse me, I've got the wrong passage there. But if we look at that, we're looking at the where he was looking at the fig tree. Or if we look in, we could even jump over to Matthew 17 and see the faith of a mustard seed. Jesus used object lessons to focus attention on essential truths In Luke 10 verses 25 to 28 and Luke 21, 33, we see him approaching and saying teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life and Jesus response? What is written in the law? How do you read it? Or we see Jesus teaching in the temple saying, I will also ask you a question. Jesus answered questions with questions. He encouraged the questioner to think and draw on his prior knowledge. Jesus used questions to teach others. If we look in Luke nine verses 28 to 30, we're going to see that Jesus focused on a small group. Many times he called his disciples together and he only spent time with them. But if we looked in Luke five 29, which we've done earlier, we saw that Levi hosted a grand banquet, or we've already looked in Luke nine, verses 10 through 17. And seeing the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus taught and ministered to small groups and large groups, even within our Bible study groups, we can speak to the whole group, but also break into small groups or instruct everyone just to turn and talk to someone nearby. These strategies provide more opportunities for each person to connect and grow in their understanding. Let's pause and reflect for just a moment. While planning for Bible study, do I incorporate a variety of methods? I'm I guilty of getting in a rut and doing the same thing during each session? I think as we've been doing so much online, that I think that I've recognized that that becomes even more important. Some of you may be using the explore the Bible curriculum. Last Sunday, I happened to have my, stuff snake with me because that the title of the lesson was staying sober. And I said, and I started the session by saying, how many of you like snakes? Give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down. How many of you would willingly reach in and grab a poisonous snake? I didn't get much response to that one. One person did say, if somebody else was holding the head, I grabbed the tail. But as we think about it, perhaps that object lesson is what they will remember as we think about that. So Jesus communicated by using a variety of teaching methods, moving towards lesson number five, if we looked in Luke nine, verses one through six, we see let's just read those together. Those verses say summoning, the 12, he gave them power and authority over all the demons and power to heal diseases. Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick, take nothing for the road he told them no walking stick, no traveling bread, no bread, no money and don't take an extra shirt, whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. If they do not welcome you, when you leave the town, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them. So they went out and traveled from bridge from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere. Jesus commissioned his 12 disciples to go. And then if we look in Luke chapter 10, verse one, we see this after this, the Lord appointed 70 others. And he sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town in place where he was about to go. In Luke 24, the very last chapter of the gospel of Luke verse 49 Jesus says, and look, I am sending you what my father promised as for you stay in the city until you are empowered from on high have side pause and reflect. I have to think. Do I try to do everything myself? How willing I'm I to empower others to take responsibility within the Bible study group, greeter care group leader, prayer leader, fellowship leader. What do you think about this situation for just a moment. Stephanie and Mike are faithful attenders each week for Bible study. They usually contribute during the session. How might you empower them to take the next step as a leader? Do you think they might be ready to accept a leadership position within the class? Is it time to encourage them to step out, to work with preschool children or students, or maybe to start another adult class, lesson number five, Jesus communicated with people by empowering others. Moving towards lesson number six, let's think about Luke 11 verses 33 to 36, no one lights, a lamp and puts it in the cellar or under a basket, but on a lamp stand. So that those two come in may see its light. Your light is the eye is the lamp of the body. When your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light. But when it is bad, your body is also full of darkness. Take care of then that the light in you is not darkness. If therefore your whole body is of light with no darkness, part of in darkness, it will be entirely illuminated as when a lamp shines its light on you. No one lights, a lamp and puts it under a basket. We can also take a look at Luke 24 verses 18 through 19 as we see the disciples walking on the road to amass, the one named Cleopas answered him are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn't know the things that happened there in the past few days? What things he asked them, so they said to him, the things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet, powerful inaction and speech before God and all the people, lesson number six, as we pause and reflect, how does my personal example affect others? Do my actions match my speech? Lesson number six, Jesus communicated with people by personal example. Let's take a moment and let's review the six lessons. As we review them, I would like for you to think about what are my strengths, what are my weaknesses? As we look at that, Jesus communicated with people through personal relationships. She's this communicated with people by meeting physical needs. Jesus communicated with people by sharing honest emotions, Jesus communicated with people by utilizing a variety of teaching methods. Jesus communicated with people by empowering others. Jesus communicated with people by providing a personal example. These lessons on communication are still relevant for today. Now what I would like you to do is on a scale of one to five, revisit each lesson, evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses On the handout sheet or just on a piece of scrap paper. if that's what you have I want you to write on a scale of one to five, with one being little five, being a lot, how you would rate yourself in each of these lessons, write the number you give beside it on the note taking sheet, I communicate with people through personal relationships. I communicate with people by meeting personal needs. I communicate with people by sharing honest emotion. I communicate with people by utilizing a variety of teaching methods. I communicate with people by empowering others. I communicate with people by providing a personal example. It's amazing that even his communication has changed so drastically that the word of God remains the same and provides us all sorts of lessons. As our time together moves to a close I'd like to share with you a story for just a moment. And the story is entitled the tree house by Lois Lowry. It's a terrific house tree house better than terrific. It was a marvelous magnificent, one of a kind tree house with wooden walls painted bright blue. It had two windows with red shutters on each and a yellow door with two shiny brass hinges and a small brass bell that rang when you pulled a string. There was a little porch where you could sit with your legs dangling. Inside were a table, a chair, a small rug with fringe on each end to fat pillows so that you could lie on the rug and read. You reached it by climbing a ladder, a ladder to the best tree house ever. And it belong to Chrissy. It's all mine isn't it she had asked her grandfather as he built the tree house for her, just mine and nobody else's. Grandpa was washing his paint brush. He nodded, I built it just for you. So Chrissy used her markers and made a sign. Chrissy's house the sign said, keep out. She tacked it to the door. Then she took her favorite books into the tree house, curled up on the pillows and began to read. Chrissy the voice came from next the next jarred from just across the fence, Chrissy got up and looked through the tree house window. Hi Leah. She said to the girl who lived next door. How do you like my tree house now that it's all done? It's beautiful. Leah said, what do you have inside a table, two chairs, the rug and some pillows and some secret stuff. She didn't have any secret stuff really. She just planned to, can I come up and see Leah asked? No Chrissy said it's just for me. That's why I made the sign. Leah stood silently for a moment then she said, I hate you Chrissy. I hate you too Chrissy replied. And she went back to pillows and opened her book a short time later, she began to see that Leah's grandfather and father were helping her build a tree house out of some old logs and strips of board that were in the backyard. Chrissy laughed to herself. Leah's father was at home because he'd lost a job. She knew they didn't have extra money for things like paint and brass hinges and doorbells and Leah's house had never been as good as hers never in a million years. Chrissy went back to her book and turn the pages while the hammering next door continued. That evening after separate Chrissy stood beside the fence and looked up at Leah's finished house she laughed aloud. It had taken a week for her grandpa to finish hers. And theirs Leah's has had been finished in a day and it was made from that stack of old weathered boards that had been in the corner of the yard. Only one board remained there now. The others had become the tree house. The boards were crooked. The roof had holes where the pieces of wood didn't quite need. Even the sign wasn't as good because Leah had done with hers with crayons instead of marking pens. But its message was the same Leah's house it said keep out. I think we have to stop and think, do we unknowingly communicate, keep out or we're happy just the way we are. Don't bother us with our groups. I think we have to think about what does our sign say? Chrissy wondered what Leah had inside her house, but she didn't ask. For several grades the girls didn't speak. And then one day Chrissy ran out of books to read and she said, Leah do you have any books that no, I don't have any books because a car's broken down and we can't go to the library, Chrissy said, well, would you like to borrow some of mine? So they each climbed down from the tree house and they passed it across. And Leah said, well, I have some fruit, would you like a banana? So she climbed up and they began to share the banana. Do you have a wastebasket in your house? I don't want to mess up my carpeting Leah looking through a window nodded. So Chrissy climbed down and lay climbed down and Chrissy handed the banana peel across the fence. Both girls climb back into their house and Chrissy sat alone and admired her fringe drug for a moment. Then leaf through her books again, wondering what Leah was doing. Leah, what I could come visit if you want Chrissy said. Leah didn't answer or you could come visit me. Chrissy added your sign says keep out. So does mine. Well, we could change them. Each girl removed her sign and crossed out the words, keep out and wrote the word welcome instead. And they rehung their signs. Are we making sure that our signs in our Bible study groups say welcome? You know what Chrissy Leah said, we could use that wide board in the corner of my yard. It would go from your porch to my porch, over the top of the fence. Then we could visit each other by walking across the board. What if we fell? It's not very high. And if we each came out halfway and held hands, we could help each other across. They climbed down their ladders. The whiteboard was heavy, but when each girl took an end, they were able to lift it into place. In a few minutes, they had made a bridge between the houses over the top of the fence. Chrissy stepped from her tree house porch onto the wide board, reached for Leah's hand and walked across. She entered Leah's tree house and looked around. I'm sorry that, that you don't have a doorbell. My grandpa has a little paint left and I'd be glad to share it. We know now that my sign says welcome. I don't think I need a doorbell. I don't really hate you Leah Chrissy replied, I don't really hate you either Leah replied. They sat together on Leah's porch and looked around happily. What do you think is the best part of a tree house Chrissy, Leah ask Chrissy thought. She looked over at her own house with its shutters and brass hinges. She looked around at Leah's with it's ball of bright apples and it's yellow curtains. The very best part she said finally is the bridge. Through our relationship with Jesus Christ we recognize that Jesus is the bridge that leads to forgiveness of our sins and a right relationship with God. We must recognize that in our role as adult Bible study leaders, we lead others to learn and apply God's word in their own lives, we are a bridge to help others grow in Christ. We are the bridge for many people in our Bible study cribs. We provide a bridge for connecting God's word and applying God's word in everyday life. Ephesians four reminds us to walk worthy of our calling. As adult Bible study leaders, we are called to communicate both inside and outside the session through personal relationships by meeting physical needs, by sharing honest emotions, by utilizing a variety of teaching methods, by empowering others, by providing a personal example, let's pray together. Lord Jesus, thank you so much for the privilege that you have given us to impart your word to others or do use us as adult leaders to faithfully honor serve you and praise you in each and everything that we do. Lord we give you the honor praise and glory today in your name I pray, Amen. I know that some of you have put questions in the question and answer box and we would be glad to take a look at those at this time.
- All right. Thank you, Liz. Let me encourage you as late as just say it a powerful lesson, Liz. Thank you. Thank you so much for that. If you have questions you'd like to ask Liz, now's your time. So please let me encourage you to put your questions in the Q and A box and let's let's discuss cause boy, I think they have a lot to, we could talk about to this. Liz, you have stepped on my toes today, so thank you for sharing that powerful lesson. So once again, folks, if you have questions you'd like to ask Liz now, now's your chance. Okay. Okay, Liz, I think the question was how to print your, off your outline and I've Lydia is going to answer that question here, Lydia. So if you want to share that, okay.
- [Lydia] I believe the outline was attached with the invitation I can see about also having it possibly attached when we upload the recorded session after today's time.
- And Neil, let me also remind you that these videos are being recorded or these webinars are being recorded and you can come back later on and view these are look at the outlines as they were shared there. You can go to pinnacle alabama.org and you can scroll down and find this particular webinar and get it there. But when you signed on today, there was a, it says that there was a handout available. So you can get a handout of going back to where you signed on there. Okay. All right. Another question here. If you have a question. Now's your chance to ask miss Liz, we'll give it our best here. You did such a good job miss Liz. They don't have any questions. They're there perfectly, get here or they may be like me. They may, you may have stepped on our toes so much that I'm almost afraid even asking you questions here, but so let me, let me encourage you folks, if you've got a question. Yeah, there is all right, Mr. Jerry says, please provide suggestions for creating a new class from an existing class. My class has grown so large that we need two classes rather than one, this will also facilitate new members. I agreed to that last statement wholeheartedly. So Ms. Liz you wanna answer Jerry's question here?
- Sure. I'll be glad to do that. I think any time that we start talking about creating a new class, we began to hear the words divide and that's not a real popular word that what we really want to focus on is the positive we want to multiply, which is exactly what I see you saying. When you said that's going to facilitate new members. I think one thing that makes it easier to create a new class from an existing class is if, as a leader, we're always talking about it. We're talking about the benefits of a new class. We're sharing with them, why that's important and looking for things. And another thing that I think really works very well with an existing is what we used to call and in many churches, we still have department structure. A department allows the classes to meet together for part of the time and then be a part. So you're not asking for that total separation of relationships, but I also think you're, we have a responsibility as leaders because we know some people that are willing to do it, but we have to train them. So I think one thing that sometimes I don't, I'm going to admit it's kind of hard for me is to give others opportunity to lead on occasion. Joe and I have a son who is teaching a young, a young adult class right now. And he has two young men that he is mentoring right now to, begin to take. So they don't teach real often, but he has them teach when he's there. And I think that that is an excellent way to build that leadership relationship, to be able to do that. So people are already comfortable. I think sometimes you may want to take a look, at how, with how what's that new class going to look like, is it going to have a different look, perhaps you have a co-educational class, but you have a lot of single ladies who come and you might, the nuclear new class might be coming in the form of a lady's class, or it might come in the form of a men's class. If you've got some men who are attending whose wives, aren't attending who are working elsewhere. So I think you have to say, what does that class need to look like? What do we need to provide it with? And then need to be sure that when we set that class aside, that we're giving it a base to work with that it's got a group that it can, it can have some unity that you're not going to be asking the leader to be preparing, to have no one. So we have to guarantee that there's going to be some people that are going to go along with them and pray. And I think both Joe and I started a brand new class, not it wasn't from an existing class. We just got a piece of paper and started a class last September. And you know, a big, big part of that was finding three or four people that would pray with us before we ever got started, that we spent and made that time in prayer to be able to do that. So I think we've got to, we've got to think about prayer. We've got to think about leadership. We've got to think about what kind of class, and we've got to prepare our people for it, with the idea that we're multiplying rather than dividing.
- I think you're right. That's something that we've seen. And I haven't talked about this an awful lot on Tuesday night's webinar, and that is encouraging leadership within your class to take responsibility or having an apprentice that will teach for you are, it may be that you're busy. At the end of the month, you've got this coming up and you, you would be best if you could get a, somebody to teach for you that Sunday, so slowly involve them in leadership roles. And then that way, when you start talking about creating a class, you got people that already know Jim. And I know Jim, Hey, Jim is a pretty good communicator. And if he started a class, yes, I would go over there and be a part of that class. So, having apprentice those other leaders take on responsibility would, yeah, it would be very helpful there as well, I think. Okay. All right. Do we have some chat here?
- We've got a question right there about, can you discuss ways we form classes either by age, gender, or marital status or by topics and personal interest? Most of our church classes seem to be age graded. Is that out of date? Wow. Tough question. Because we see all sorts of different things in our churches. And so we can talk about the pros and cons of age grading. Age grading had it's initial initially was the idea that developmentally the groups would be alike, that we would have groups that had children would be together, that group said teenagers would be together, preschoolers, whatever. And that was part of the age grading. And yet people have their own choices. And so sometimes they don't pay any attention. But one of the big problems also is that sometimes the ages on our door, outside the room doesn't match the people inside the room. So, you might be thinking you're going to visit a class of, 30 to 40 and walk in and everybody's over 50. And that's the, one of the things we've had a problem with with age grading. So I think we have to consider offering people options. And I think that's what we're seeing in our churches today. The beauty of age grading is that we know where to take people to begin with when they come as guests for the very first time, we have to have a place to take them. We have to, we have to know about that. And so I think we have to consider what where's the, how are we going to through outreach, take people to classes? So in some ways we have to have a pretty broad area. I had the privilege a number of years ago of teaching a ladies class. And I'm going to be real honest in that lady's class my age groups were 19 to 93. We were in a department that basically was in the 50s, but we had everything. And part of that was because it was a ladies class that was offered. And there weren't necessarily as many ladies' classes in some of the other age groups and they wanted to ladies' class so they chose that. So I think that we're getting that partially is that where people are going to go where they're going to go and we want them to attend. I wanted to address a little bit by topics or personal interest because. I think that that's really hard. Now, sometimes we can do that. We do that perhaps through our, through other Bible studies. But as far as our basic Sunday morning or what we used to call Sunday school, or maybe in many places, you're calling it connection groups or Sunday school groups or life groups, we want to be sure that people are on a discipleship pilgrimage. And if we strictly sort, or group by topics and personal interest, then people fail to look at other topics or they fail. They only talk about what is totally there, and it may be something totally different that they need to be moved forward in our growth and discipleship. I mean, if I had to choose, I'm going to choose this all the time, because I like that. And I like the person that's leading it. I like whatever I want to do that. But it doesn't lead to the overall growth and development of my relationship with Jesus Christ. So is age grading outdated? I think it's warped a war Hunter. I'm not trying to, it's changed. It's more flexible than it used to be, but it is still vital for, to have some type of structure that allows us to know where to take people when they visit and to be able to, to do that in an easy way, that will transition guests to feel welcome and not have our signs say, keep out.
- I agree. 100% with that lady. Thank you so much, Liz. And I think Lydia, you had a comment you wanted to make to this as well. Is that correct? Was it on this question?
- [Lydia] I know I was writing in the chat. I've copied and pasted the links where they can receive the, they can download the handout. It was if they missed it in the registration portion, I've also sent the PDF that's attached to the pedicle website.
- All right. It is on the chat and the chat box over there. So if you want a copy that you can have that information too, to get your hand out here. Okay. Other questions and answers here. Very good Liz I think. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Right on target of what we are needing to hear today. So you got your questions, now it's your time to ask miss Liz. They are practitioners, her and Joe, both. They team teach a Sunday school class, our Bible study class, whatever, like she said, whatever you want to call them today. There's a kazillion different titles out there today, but what have you call your group there? But if you've got questions, now's your time to ask the, they're not just, they're not newbies at this either. They've been teaching Sunday school classes for a while. And so please, if you've got questions, now's the time to ask. And if not, we're not going to keep you online just so we can occupy your time. We want to be here to help to assist you. And this is your opportunity to ask questions about Sunday school and trying to be better communicators in your, Sunday school class. Liz I loved what you were talking about there with there's more than one way to communicate. And too often, I see us as teachers and leaders, we depend too much on the verbal communication. We don't follow up with some of the actions and some of the ministry activities and equipping others by getting them involved. Because as a Sunday school leader, we are more than just a dispenser of information. And I think that's what you've tried to communicate today with this the whole thing of communication lesson, let's just follow the master. You cannot improve upon what Jesus did and well, you did a great job at leading us, walking us through. I thought, man, this is great. We're looking at the whole book of a Luke here today.
- At least I said in one book, right.
- And made it simple for us. That's great. All right, folks, do you have any more questions if you do, if you don't know we're going to, we're going to close out here in a minute. That's going to be early, but that's okay.
- [Lydia] Michael and Michael and Phyllis have expressed their gratitude for today's session in the chat section. And Ms. Gloria also had a little thing to say, it's from posting all the links that kinda got backed up in the chat section, but I didn't want those three things to go unnoticed.
- Okay. Thank you, Lydia. All right. Okay. Folks I see no questions, Liz. You have any questions you want to ask them now?
- I just love to meet him in person.
- We were so far, I'm looking forward to y'all coming to you and Joe, both coming and being with us at Shockoe at the pinnacle and a little bit we know that was not going to happen when we enlisted you. But thank you so much for, being flexible and willing to do something like this today, as opposed to coming out, like I said, much rather had y'all in Talladega at Chaco Springs, but maybe this will come at a later date. Y'all have been so faithful to help us in the past. So we'll look forward to a new days ahead here. Okay. Folks, no questions. So therefore, may I close this in a word of prayer and it will let you go about your Saturday morning here. Okay. Let's pray together, father, thank you so much for this time together today, even though we are a distance, but yet father we're together with joining our hearts and seeking to be better servants of yours. Lord, we pray now that you'll burn within our hearts. So things that we've learned today and not just be head knowledge, but heart knowledge that we apply them in our daily lives as we seek to be the teachers, the leaders, the community, our local church for this we pray we ask in the precious name of Jesus, our savior. Amen.