My dad was an artillery officer back in the day at Fort Bliss in El Paso. This was before the day of GPS aiming and tracking systems, infra-red spotting, etc. It was WAY before the day in fact. Back then, an artillery unit had a "spotter", who had the dubious honor of sneaking close enough to the enemy target to radio back aiming instructions to the artillery unit. Aiming an artillery piece was measured in "clicks". So one artillery round would be fired, and (if the round didn't land on the him) the spotter would radio back, "you're a quarter mile short and 100 hundred yards east. Adjust sights three clicks north and one click west." When the cannon was essentially "on target", the spotter would tell them they were "spot on", and instead of one artillery piece firing off the next round, several dozen would fire on the target. The key in artillery is to know where your target is and keep adjusting until you are hitting it.
You might be thinking, "Okay, today's article is about knowing your community; its demographics, culture, etc." No, not really. It's not about knowing your class or your church either. You see, the real target of your Sunday School class isn't the people sitting in the classroom or the lost people in Starbucks while you study your Bible.
Your target is Jesus. Yes, that's who your target is. You are pointing every boy and girl, every man and woman, saved and unsaved, attendee or absentee, to this one target – Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God! He is the hope of your salvation and the reason for your existence. Jesus is the exact representation of the living God. Know Jesus… know God!
You, my friend, are the spotter. Your mission is to point people so that they are aiming at Jesus. No other target is good enough. Each time you meet with your class, your job is to help them take better aim at Jesus. Every day when you are at work or at a Little League game, your job is to point people to Christ. By the way, have you noticed where the spotter is in an artillery unit? That's right, the spotter is way out in front, often behind enemy lines, in the most dangerous position. Teachers, in order to point people to Jesus, we need to be out in front. There should be no place for armchair disciplemaking in the Kingdom. Being a Sunday School leader is meant to be dangerous!
So as you prepare your Bible study this week, remember your target. The target of your Bible study is Jesus. The great preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon was once asked why his sermons were so powerful in reaching lost people with the gospel. Spurgeon's reply: "I read my text (Bible passage) and then make a beeline for the cross!" Spurgeon knew his target. Jesus said, "if I be lifted up, I will draw all people to Myself".
Your mission as a Sunday School leader, is to make Jesus the most famous person in your class! The more clearly you make Jesus the target, the easier it will be for your people to calibrate their lives and make those adjustments, those personal "clicks" that will help them follow their Leader.
Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Listen to your class discussion about the Bible study. Be sure to redirect discussion from what people think to Jesus' words and actions;
- After you prepare each Bible study, look over it carefully. Does it point to Jesus as the solution, or to a political agenda, business, etc.
- Take a step back occasionally and look at your class as a whole. Do you see your class exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 6; or the transformation of their minds from Romans 12?