Stewardship in the Writings of Paul – 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. Our lesson this week focuses on partnerships. Think about successful partnerships (not Abbott and Costello or Batman and Robin), but partnerships in your community that have made a difference. It might be civic and corporate partnerships that have made a difference in the arts or a park or other resource in your community. There are other partnerships as well. Are there any in your congregation between people or groups within the congregation who have impacted the church? What partnerships are there between your church and any organization that makes a difference in your town? How does your church understand the partnership between your local congregation and the wider church represented by your Region or the General Church within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)?
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:
- 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
- 1 Corinthians 16:1-5
- 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
- 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
- Philippians 1:3-11
Ask everyone in the class to find a partner. Have them, in their own words, explain Paul’s deep understanding of partnership. Describe to each other how you do or do not see yourself as a partner in Christ with your congregation and with people in it. If you have a strong sense of partnership, how can you reinforce that? If you sense of partnership is not so strong, what can you do to increase it?
Name three practical things you can do as a steward-partner to act out your partnership with God through the mission of the congregation. What qualities and behaviors and resources can you contribute? What qualities and behavior and resources can other contribute?
With whom outside the church can you enter into partnership in the values and practices of The Realm?
Paul collected an offering among the gentiles to express eschatological solidarity with Jewish believes in Jerusalem. Name a community with whom your congregation or Region can express similar eschatological partnership today.
Dismiss the class with prayer.