I have been teaching an adult Sunday School class at our church for about 15 years, and each class is a highlight of my week. One of my favorite attributes of the class is the participation by the attendees. It’s less of a lecture/lesson format than it is a guided discussion. I really enjoy this format because it leaves room for the unexpected to occur.
By the “unexpected”, I mean that our discussion and study has options as to where it goes. As I prepare each week, I look at the section of Scripture we’ll be studying, and I put together a flow of some interesting points for us to discuss. I do this instead of writing out a word-for-word lecture/lesson, because a written-out lesson would make it hard pursue people’s questions or thoughts they have in the moment that are relevant to our discussion. If I have a written out word-for-word lecture that I feel I must follow, then I take out any room to explore a thought that’s not in my lesson.
That would be a shame, because very often in class, someone has a thought or question that takes us in a direction that I had not planned to go, but that deepens our understanding of the Scripture we were looking at. If I was insistent on tightly defining every lesson, we would have missed out on so many rich and meaningful discussions that have deepened our understanding of Scripture.
Are there areas in your life that could use a little less control in order to leave some room for unexpected pleasant surprises to occur? Consider that question the next time you’re planning an event or having a conversation with someone.
It’s good to have a plan, but it’s also good to leave room along the way for the unexpected.