For many churches, this Sunday will be the final Sunday of this year of Sunday School. The first Sunday of September frequently marks the beginning of the new year while a few promote mid-August and a few in June. I want to encourage you to plan a celebration in Sunday School on the last Sunday of the year.
What is the purpose of Celebration Sunday? There are so many reasons to celebrate! Pause to give God thanks for all of His blessings during the year. Ask class members to share how God has answered their prayers this year. Ask them to share about times when God has enabled them to live for Him. These three actions alone are reason enough to pause to celebrate.
Ask class members to share what they have learned this year. How has Sunday School helped them to think differently about the church, God, or the Christian life? Ask them to list how they have grown as a Christian. Have them share the biggest struggles they have had in applying the truth of God’s Word to their lives this year. What progress have they made in walking as disciples of Jesus Christ?
Another option is to have them share about ways the class has been meaningful to them. How have class members been supportive? How have members come to their aid? When were times that another member provided encouragement? How have friendships deepened?
Yet another option is stopping to consider goals set out by the class last year. What progress has been made? What new people have been added? How has the attendance and enrollment increased? What new people have stepped into leadership in the class? What members are now serving in the church or community? What ministry or outreach projects did the class participate in and what were the results? What new class has been started?
I think such a celebration is not just a look back. It is also a look forward. It helps to build expectation into a new year. It adds anticipation of what God will do and will enable the class to do together. It reminds members that there should be individual and class progress during the year. It reinforces a sense of accountability. And a revolutionary Sunday School wants to underscore all of these values.
Make plans for Celebration Sunday! Give God praise and thanks. Reflect on learning, relationships, and progress. Be revolutionary!