In 1981, I joined the Nashville Baptist Association in Tennessee on a three-week mission trip to South Korea. As a college senior who had already been called into ministry, I went on the mission trip in part to discern if it was God’s will for me to serve as a missionary. God blessed me with an awesome experience. I wish I could tell all of the stories. I came to love the Korean people. I worked with two great Korean pastors in Seoul and Pusan. I saw many people accept Jesus.
At the end of the mission trip, my clear answer from God was that He did not want me in another country serving as a missionary, but rather He wanted me to train missionaries. That is what I did as Minister of Education in five churches in Kentucky and South Carolina, and it is what I continue to do today as a Sunday School missionary for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
Missionaries are “sent out ones.” They have been called to serve God beyond the walls of the church. The church frequently sets them aside in a commissioning service. But we are all called to be on mission. We have all been called to participate actively in the Great Co-mission (Matthew 28:19-20).
Is your Sunday School helping to train missionaries? Yes, I know that Woman’s Missionary Union and Baptist Men on Mission are often involved in the training. But Sunday School has a significant role to play as well that must not be ignored. Revolutionary Sunday School must take the role seriously and intentionally.
You see, when Sunday School (1) helps people come to Christ, (2) helps people learn to pray and study their Bible, (3) helps people see how God has been at work in the Bible and in their lives, and (4) helps people apply God’s truth to their lives, we are leading them to be open to serve Him whenever and wherever He leads. We are training them to be on mission. Some will be missionaries in other countries. Some will be missionaries in other states. Some will be missionaries in other communities. And some will be missionaries right where they live. “Wherever He leads, they’ll go.”
Ask God to help you open your eyes to see the missionaries in your class this week. Ask Him to help you teach those missionaries the lessons they need to learn in order to respond when He calls. Be an encourager. Invest in the lives of your students. And remember as you do so that you are training missionaries. Do so intentionally. Be revolutionary!