Let me warn you. I am setting you up with that question. I could also have asked if you want your Sunday School to get smaller. If I had, I don’t believe you could have resisted answering in the negative. But wait just a minute. “Smaller” is a comparative adjective. But notice I didn’t ask if you wanted to get smaller than you currently are!
Instead, what if I asked if you want your Sunday School to get smaller than the Sunday Schools in all of the churches in your area? There may be a bit of light dawning at that point. Still no? Well, I want to ask you to pray for just that. But I want to encourage you to pray this way: “Lord, please bless and grow our Sunday School. And Lord, bless all the other Sunday Schools in my area that are teaching attenders how to make Jesus Lord and Savior and how to live as His disciples in the world. Lord help us to double. And Lord, help, them to triple and quadruple, whatever it takes to reach my community for Jesus!”
My thinking in this direction all began with a mind-stretching blog post by J. D. Greear entitled I Want to Be the Smallest Church in Our Area. Greear says:
If my church doubles next year, that would be great. But why shouldn’t I also want the church down the road to grow 4x that fast? Wouldn’t that mean more people coming to Jesus?…The stakes are too high for church leaders to be consumed with petty territorial jealousy. Heaven and hell are real, and faith in Jesus’ blood is the only the thing that makes the difference between those two. I don’t have time or energy to compete with other churches. We’ve got one shot at making Jesus famous in our generation.
Let’s pray that God will enlarge our territory (see the prayer of Jabez, 1 Chronicles 4:9-10). (But we must continue to be honorable and faithful with what He has already entrusted us!) Let’s pray that God will help us to advance on our enemy, Satan. (We know our Lord wins in the end, but let’s take as many with us as we can!) Let’s pray that together that all the Sunday Schools in our churches will train up disciples who will go forth together with our Lord to make disciples until there are no more who don’t know Jesus. (Let’s pray for His Kingdom rather than our own!)
Let’s pray for new Sunday School classes and teachers in our churches and in those in area churches. (And may they be multiplying classes and teachers!) Let’s pray for more off-site Bible study groups and group leaders. (And may they, too, multiply!) Let’s pray for more workers in the harvest. (May every disciple do his/her part!) Let’s pray for greater retention and application of what is learned. (May we obey His commands!) May His Kingdom come!
Are you willing to pray for your Sunday School to be smaller this year? Pray big prayers to a big God who is able to answer beyond your imagination! Be revolutionary!
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