This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.
For Use: June 16 – June 22, 2019
Texts: Isaiah 38, 39; 1 Corinthians 7:12-15; 1 Peter 3:1, 2; Hebrews 6:12; 13:7; 3 John 11; Isaiah 58:6, 7, 10, 12
Effective businesses know that a reputation for good employee relations is important for recruiting and keeping good workers. One of the greatest assets of any company is a team of employees who genuinely enjoy coming to work every day and are motivated to produce positive results. Here are a few steps companies can take to cultivate a culture that naturally results in good relationships.
Give employees plenty of resources, training and moral support. Promote from within and provide training programs to prepare employees for the next step in their professional development. Encouraging work-life balance develops loyalty by giving them and their families the flexibility to thrive. Be approachable. Provide a stable environment with competitive pay. Give back to the local community by partnering with local charities. Seek feedback from your employees. When word gets out that a business understands that good people are their most important asset, that culture draws and keeps good employees.  The key is that everything is consistently authentic.
These tips can also apply to the home. A stable, joyful home life is an effective witness for God’s kingdom. This week’s lesson examines the role of Christian homes in demonstrating the blessings available to those who follow God’s family plan. Even though life is never perfect, dedicated Spirit-filled Christian families can exude the atmosphere of heaven through both the good times and the rough patches.
It can be daunting to realize that our neighbors and co-workers are silently watching to see if this Christian thing truly works in real life. If our focus is on God as the center of our lives and homes, the witness takes care of itself.
One of the most critical aspects of our Christian witness is to pay special attention to reflecting God’s love to our children. A key to that witness is consistency—do our kids see that we are the same people at home as we are in public? Or do they see us parents putting on a Christian mask that drops off once we retreat to our homes? Nothing kills enthusiasm for Christ and God’s church as quickly in our kids as seeing Christianity as a phony game that people play. Rather, it becomes real to them when they see our consistent Christian spirit at all times.
As vital as counseling can be for a family in crisis, sometimes what they need is to see a family that functions well under God’s influence. Dysfunction is often learned by being passed down from generation to generation in family systems. The witness of a loving, tight-knit family is a powerful way to show people trapped in those patterns that there is a better way of life available to them. Seeing really can be believing, and we, as God’s family on earth, have the privilege of not only providing the example of a Christian home, but enjoying the benefits as well.
Connecting: When people visit your home, what quirky things unique to your family will they see? How do those quirks enhance the joy in your home?
Sharing: Many Christian homes feature a plaque that says, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). What message do you think this sign best conveys?
- This home is a safe place
- Our family is more Christian than yours
- This family is committed to seeking the Lord, even when things are not perfect
- There is probably a lot of joy in this home
- Everyone in this family always behaves
Applying: Suppose you know of a family that exhibits love and unity in public, but is a dysfunctional dumpster fire in private at home. Are there circumstances where you would have a responsibility to intervene in this situation? If so, what is an appropriate response?
Valuing: Honestly evaluate—what do people see when they come into my home? Pray that God will use your home life as a witness to Christian love and unity.