Personal Development through Reading Through the Gospels

By David Bond

bibleOne of the key Bible texts that has been used to describe the ministry of Sunday School is Matthew 9:35.

Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. (HCSB)

In these verses, we see Jesus focused on three essential actions that should be present in any Sunday School group: Reaching, Teaching, and Ministering. The great majority of verses found in the gospels on the life of Jesus can be placed under one of those categories.


Reading through the gospels gives leaders a great opportunity to focus on engaging people the way that Jesus did. A focused reading of the gospels helps identify key principles that shape the way Sunday School groups share the gospel, teach for obedience, and meet needs.


  • Select a Bible reading plan that challenges you to read through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in a focused period of time (30-60 days).
  • Create a method to write down the verses, stories, and references that show Jesus reaching the lost, teaching His followers, or ministering to someone in need.
  • Reflect on each of these categories (Reaching, Teaching, Ministering) for ways they relate to your Sunday School group.
  • Identify some specific ways in your class might improve in each category of ministry.
  • Discuss with other leaders and share ideas on how to implement needed changes.


David Bond, assistant team leader for the Church Health Team for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention