Few today choose to make a commitment to church ministries that demand persistent presence and active participation. Just ask your minister if there is a surplus of Bible teachers in the congregation. Church leaders sometimes question why few have a commitment to the church’s programs and ministries. The answer is simple; few are truly committed to God. Thus, few are committed to God’s demands for a life of doing right. This quarter’s lessons offer an opportunity to challenge commitment in the learners. Some simple learning activities that run through the quarter of study may be a step in the right direction to “getting back into commitment.”
How Am I Doing?
God’s prophets had a primary task: to call God’s wayward people back to His ways. Consider having your class members maintain a notebook (journal) during this series, a record of their own responses to the truths studied. Make multiple copies of the following form so you can provide one to each student each week. At the end of the first week’s study, introduce the concept by saying, “At the end of the week ahead, sit down and ponder how well you are doing in relationship to the commitment we have studied today”. Fill in the word Justice (the key word in the first week’s lesson title) on the lines marked with an asterisk (*); then write your thoughtful responses in the other spaces.”
When it comes to being committed I rate myself a [Use a scale of 1. “barely noticeable” to 5 for “giving daily evidence.”)
One occasion this week when I gave evidence I am committed to [ blank] was when I[blank] This event or behavior best exemplified such a commitment because it[blank]
One occasion this week when my behavior or words demonstrated a lack of commitment to [blank] was when I [blank]
The verse from this week’s text that has the greatest impact on me is [blank]. The reason for this impact is [blank]
Have students use the same form each week. The key words or themes for the 13 weeks from the lesson titles are (1) justice, (2) God’s ways, (3)true worship, (4) seeking God, (5) God’s requirements, (6) righteousness, (7) hope, (8) account-ability, (9) trusting God, (10) hope even in pain,(11) taking responsibility, (12) returning to God, and (13) doing right.
What Is Lacking?
This weekly journalizing will allow students to confront their own levels of commitment. Ask for volunteers to give candid self-assessments to the class as a whole.
The problems that your students reveal actually may be symptoms of a deeper problem: a lack of knowledge. God’s lament, through the pen of Hosea, was, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). When disciples thoroughly know the person and will of God, commitment should be a by-product. In Simon Peter’s words, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).Consider how you can facilitate greater knowledge through memorization of pivotal verses. In the first week of the study, for example tell your students, “I have found some significant thoughts of God in my preparation for this series of studies in the theme of commitment from God’s prophets. So I have committed to learning some of those great ideas by heart.” Then quote, for example, part of Amos 5:15: “Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment.”Offer your class an opportunity to join you in your quest to increase their own knowledge of God as found in the prophets. To this end, you can distribute commitment cards like this:
Thank you for revealing your will through your prophets. I hereby commit to learning at least verses of beauty and challenge during our class’s study this quarter. My prayer is that Your Word will cure my lack of knowledge.
Indicate that this commitment activity is strictly a personal matter and that the cards can be carried in one’s Bible. Make suggestions for good verses to memorize. Regularly talking about your own progress will encourage participation.