A dynamic, growing Sunday School class is made up of many components. One critical feature is a class that engages in ministry with one another. Another way of saying ministry is “pastoral support and involvement.”
In a church I know of, a new pastor came to town and began to evaluate what the church was doing and he began to see where ministry needs existed. He met with the deacons and they evaluated their role. Current ministries and programs were assessed, some were dropped and new roles were defined. One of the ministry roles that the deacons dropped was a pastoral care role. Why would the deacons give up that important role? Because the Sunday School was already doing it.
The pastor began to notice that every time he would show up at the hospital to see someone, there was already a Sunday School class member, teacher or friend there giving support. When the pastor would visit the birth of a new baby, or visit the funeral home, or go to a member’s ball game or recital, there were Sunday School class members there giving support. The Sunday School was a real, relevant place where people were doing life together.
How does this happen? When a class is organized with an appropriate class structure, and people know what their role is, when classes have care groups that function by contacting each other, by setting up care group prayer chains, and keep track of each other in their care group, then “pastoral support and involvement” can take place.
People want to care for each other, because they want to be cared for themselves. Get your class involved in the age appropriate pastoral supportive opportunities that fit your class.
Young married couples – can help each other with baby showers, baby sitting, cook outs, kid time.
Median age couples – can help with babysitting and car pooling.
Empty nesters – can help as parents get to the age where they need care and often times need the support of a class when parents pass from this life to the next.
Senior adults – can help with life transition issues as well. They can help with trips to doctors and giving support during surgeries.
The bottom line is looking for needs, being sensitive to those needs and coming up with a reasonable plan to meet those needs. When a class does this, it will be a loving, caring place of pastoral support and involvement. You can expect it!