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There are those today who will tell you either by words or action, "Sunday School is dead". Sunday School is not dead. The way your church is doing Sunday School may be dead or causing yours to die but the assimilation process for developing believers and reaching pre-Christians through Bible study is not dead. Churches today are redefining Sunday School. Some are doing a great job and others and just shifting the furniture on the Titanic. There is lots of moving around but we are still sinking. There must be a way to keep people once they have been reached. A Sunday School that is well-organized and building believers who are reaching others is still the best way to grow a church.Sunday School is being redefined in terminology today. I have heard Sunday School referred to as: Bible study, small groups, life classes, life groups, growth groups, study groups, fellowship groups, ministry groups, Bible groups, Bible cell groups, accountability groups, prayer groups, teaching classes, cell groups, foundation groups, family groups, faith groups and those are just some of the suggestions. Does it really matter what you call it? I am more interested in what it does.
Growing Sunday Schools are being redefined in function. Terminology alone will not change Sunday School. Function redefinition will.We must continually be asking, "Why are we doing this thing called Bible study?" For some the only answer is, "Because we always have done Bible study." Today that is an unacceptable answer. Whatever it takes to build great commission Christians and reach people for Jesus is the reason churches should do Sunday School. That means a new day for most of the Sunday Schools.
In the following pages you will be asked to rethink Sunday School. No more enrollment as we know it. Accountability as we have not ever seen. Teachers who see their role as moving members out instead of building their class (kingdom). These are some ideas you will see. Hopefully you will understand and use some of these ideas.
Sunday School is not dead, just misunderstood.
I have attempted to take time proven growth principles that will work in any church and explain them in a simple systematic way so that the Sunday School in the church you serve will succeed. A successful Sunday School is one in which people are coming to know Jesus as Savior and believers are being developed into Great Commission Christians. A lot of things must take place for this to happen. Prayer, study, organization and other processes must take place for the Sunday School to be what it is intended and should be. I have found out through the years that it takes three things for a church to grow.
The churches that are growing are the churches that have members who know about inconvenience. Change is a way of life. Constant and deliberate change permeates everything the church does. No one is allowed to say or think, "We have always done it like this", because in a growing church there is no room for going back. Someone will have to be inconvenienced if your church is going to grow. It will be you (the church people) or them (the unchurched). We have already tried to inconvenience them and it is not working, maybe we need to be inconvenienced in order to reach them.
I wish it were easy work. The truth is reaching people for Jesus is hard work. Hard work is translated time. The engaged member is one who is giving time in service.
For those of you who are in growing churches I really do not have to explain. Quality preschool facilities and equipment are demanded. Children’s ministries that excel beyond what some of us ever dreamed are a necessity. Youth and adults are demanding more and more so ministry can be done. It all costs money.
Your first journey in understanding Sunday School growth principles is to know where you are now. This is called evaluation. You will evaluate your entire Sunday School in the following pages. You will come to know your strengths and your weaknesses. Then with some ideas to fix those weaknesses and firm up the strengths you can move to greater days in building that Great Commission Sunday School.
A SUNDAY SCHOOL GROWTH AND EVALUATION TOOL
© 2008 Kenneth Marler