Stewardship in the later writings of the Second Testament – A Sunday School or Small Group Lesson
Preparation for the teacher:
Read the texts (found below) ahead of time.
Watch the Video – it may stimulate additional questions appropriate for your context. Make certain you have tested the equipment necessary for showing the video –it helps to keep the technical gremlins away!
Do a little homework about your church and community. Think about people in your congregation and in your community who have been channels of God’s grace. Can you name “faithful witnesses” who have gone against the grain of whatever the “current trend is” in an effort to be true to what they believe about God? Has there been a time in your congregation’s history where the community of faith has spoken either a prophetic “No” or “Yes” in the midst of difficulty? Can you identify ways in which your congregation mediates God’s grace to its members or surrounding community?
Pray for your students as you prepare this week’s lesson.
Teaching the lesson:
As the class begins, welcome the class and engage in your usual opening exercises (taking attendance, collecting an offering, prayer concerns, other announcements, etc.)
Read the following texts: (Have different class members read the texts aloud – it keeps things more interesting and it better engages the students.)
- Ephesians 3:2
- Colossians 1:25
- Titus 1:8
- 1 Peter 4:10
- Revelation 21:1-8
Ask the class to wrestle with the following questions:
1 Peter and the Book of Revelation both emphasize that even when we are suffering or are in difficult situations in which we appear to have very few resources, we can be stewards of God’s grace. Discuss a situation in which you feel like your resources might be limited but in which you can be a steward of God’s grace.
According to Ephesians, the author was made a steward of God’s grace for the sake of gentiles, people who do not know God or live according to God’s word. Think of a situation in which people do not know God for which you can be a steward of God’s grace.
1 Peter says we are stewards of the manifold or many-colored grace of God. This implies that God’s grace comes in many ways. What are some ways that God’s grace comes to you for whom you can then be a steward to others?
The writer of the Book of Revelation was in a situation in which the community was oppressed by the Roman Empire. The community could do little to change the situation except say “No” and keep alive the possibility of the Realm. Can you think of a situation in which all you or your congregation can do is say “No!”
How is saying “No” faithful? Likewise, are there things to which your congregation can say “Yes” which bear witness to the Gospel that are counter cultural?
Close your class time with prayer