I find too many Sunday School leaders with man-sized vision. They only admit to see as much as they can accomplish in their own strength. I am sorry to say this is true of some pastors, Sunday School directors, and teachers. So, allow me to ask you these questions: What does God want you to accomplish for Him? What would He enable you to do that you cannot do without Him? What resources (gifts, passions, financial, etc.) has He put into your hand that you need to release in service to Him?
What if we set aside our man-sized vision for a moment and looked through the eyes of God? What would be God’s vision for our Sunday School/small groups? We had planned for one, or two, or ten new groups in 2007-2008. How many does God want us to start for Him? Rick Warren once asked his staff for a goal for new groups. They offered him what they considered to be a challenging goal. He suggested they add a zero to the end–thousands rather than hundreds. When we pursue God-sized goals, we cannot take the credit for success.
Growing the ministry of Sunday School/small groups is a worthy goal. In an article entitled Still a Shortage of Community (Part 3), Dan Lenz said, “The Church, and more specifically, the small group movement, needs to be on the cutting edge of finding those new ways of connecting for…millions of people who are living in isolation and apart from the saving and redeeming love of Christ they could find in Christian community.” Since on average a new group will grow to 10 in attendance and 20 in enrollment in 12-18 months, we should release the power of Sunday School/small group community and multiplication in order to love every person to Christ.
What if your vision was a small group Bible study multiple times in every classroom at the church, on every block, in every apartment and house, in every corporate work-place, and in every high school? (I adapted this vision from Home Bible Study Ministry.) Wow, what a vision! What if that was your goal for your community rather than the whole world? So, what is God’s vision for your Sunday School/small group ministry?
Okay, I can hear the reservations being mumbled. Space and leaders are two key variables. But space does not become a problem in the vision of the previous paragraph. If God said do it, then we have the resources to accomplish it. We can offer Bible study any time, any where. And He will send us all the leaders we need. One problem is that we are not giving away what has been given to us (2 Timothy 2:2). We must be constantly apprenticing new leaders and releasing them into service. They will learn better when they know they are learning in order to do it on their own soon.
Pray. Listen to God. Seek His vision and leadership. Be obedient. Be revolutionary!