Three months ago I agreed to teach a new Bible study class on Sundays with the intended audience being men who are in a recovery program. Some are in between time they have been in jail and when they will be allowed to return home. After a very slow start of nobody attending the first couple of weeks, we have sputtered along with 0-2 learners present weekly since August. Their work schedule and the frequency of rotation in and out of the program make it impossible to have a consistent class. The only regular attendee besides me was the other leader who agreed to help me. Besides him, three men have each been there once and one man has been several times.
I was willing to give it a try for three months before making a call as to its viability to continue. Today is the end of that three-month period and today I am disbanding the class. We were right to try it, although we were woefully wrong in the manner in which we started the class – abandoning every known principle and best practice of how to start new teaching units in the rush to just do it back in the summer. I won’t make that mistake again.
We’ll merge my tiny class into another excellent class that meets down the hall and that uses the same lesson material. It’s actually the class I was a member of before starting this one and is a wonderful class filled with men and women who will welcome these men with open arms when they are able to attend. The discussion will be richer because of the larger number of people and the men will get to meet a wider variety of people in the church than they would huddled together by themselves in my class.
It would have been nice to have a class with throngs of people there weekly, but that wasn’t and won’t be the case given the circumstances. It’s important to know when to end an experiment and move on. That time has come. I’m glad we gave it a shot.
Leap year lesson #299 is Some things are worth trying even if they don’t succeed.