This is day 17 of 31 Days of Missionary Sunday School
The math says multiplication always grow faster than addition. But, can WE see it work?
Ask Jeff Sundell, who lives just a few miles outside of Charlotte, NC. It has been about three years since they started their first small group Bible study to reach their community. From that class a movement started. A member of the class felt the need to start another in another community. It grew and the same thing happened again. A member of that study had a burden for a friend in another town and went there to start another Bible study. Soon multiplication began to take place. Today, from the beginnings of that first Bible study, and a passion of Jeff to reach North and South Carolina for Christ, thus far over 400 Bible studies in 39 cities have been started and thousands of formerly non-reached people have come to faith in Christ.
What is the difference in a Class and a movement?
A Sunday School Class is a group of people who meet weekly for Bible study. They enjoy their fellowship, the comfort of prayer support, the ministry to and with one another, the blessings of worship, and the study of God’s Word. If they become content and comfortable in their environment, they become what is known as a “closed group”, that is; they are no longer energized to reach out to others, and usually grow hesitant to any kind of change.
How does such a “movement” begin? Prayer…intensive prayer + hard work + seeking the Lord’s direction for the people He wants to reach in your context = the beginning of a movement. A movement begins with a group of people with a passion to reach their community, even a specific group of people within the community, with the Gospel of Christ. They are willing to do whatever it takes, anytime, anywhere, anyway under the direction of the Holy Spirit to reach these people. They are more concerned about reaching and making disciples for Christ than they are for their comfort and personal concerns. They are excited about seeing believers in Christ grow to the point that they want to reach their friends, and even start new Bible study groups themselves to reach other friends. They want to be spiritual parents, grandparents, and even multiple generations.
Is this possible in today’s culture, where “most” of our churches are in plateau or decline; where less than ten percent of churches have experienced continuous growth? Yes, Yes, Yes.
It is not about our power, but our obedience to New Testament principles of biblical discipleship.
Any class in any church in any location CAN decide to surrender to the direction of the Holy Spirit to become a part of a movement of God to reach their community for Christ.
It is a matter of prayer and priorities.