There are so many reasons why it is important that Sunday School classes participate in missions, ministry, service, and outreach projects. Many reasons are obvious, and others are important and essential but less recognized. Consider some of the following reasons:
- people need help
- our members have a need to give and help others
- people need the Lord
- our members have a need to share His love with others
- we realize the needs of people in our community and world when we serve
- we learn more about each other when we serve together
- God desires to use our abilities in service to fulfill the needs of others
- when we use our gifts and abilities in service, we are fulfilled
- when we are faithful to trust Him, follow His leadership, and touch “the least of these,” we are doing it unto Him
- and the list goes on and on!
Without a doubt, projects enable classes to reach up, reach out, and reach in. Our connection with God is strengthened as is our connection with those outside our churches and those in our classes. Our relationships grow as we pray, plan, and carry out those plans to serve.
There are hundreds of ways classes can take Sunday School ministry beyond the walls of the classroom. My thoughts returned to this subject last week when Tim Gibson, Minister of Education/Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church in Russell, Kentucky, asked about churches that are doing community missions projects. I passed his e-mail along to a group of Ministers of Education. Doug Hamblin who serves as Pastor of Education and Administration at Zion Baptist Church in Henderson replied to Tim’s question with a list of ways Sunday School classes are involved in missions projects. Here is the list he shared:
- Backpack ministry: We contacted our schools to offer to fill backpacks with food on a weekly basis. Every weekend needy/hungry students take home a backpack, just like all the other kids, but theirs is filled with food to eat over the weekend. We are not allowed to put overtly “Godly” things in the backpack, but we can now place some church literature in them. The teachers know who’s doing what. They see; word spreads.
- Another class sponsors a worship and Bible study at a nursing home.
- We take stuffed animals to the local hospital for kids who have an emergency or procedure being done.
- We have a baby blanket ministry for new mothers/babies at the hospital.
- We take a goody basket to a certain floor of the hospital.
- “Love Baskets” are given to waiters and waitresses on Valentine’s Day.
- We held an appreciation dinner for our emergency and rescue personnel.
- A class feeds the men at a Men’s Shelter once a month.
- We hold a Bible Study at a woman’s addiction recovery center.
- Had a Christmas Toy Store where we served and ministered to over 150 families (each was shared the gospel, the Christmas Story, and provided gifts for Christmas).
- We staff and serve 1 time each month at a food bank.
- We hold a churchwide Connecting Day each year and do random acts of kindness in the community – We landscaped and painted the outside of a local school.
- Helped out at a Pregnancy/Single Mom agency.
- Sponsored a Handyman Ministry.
- Volunteered at Habitat for Humanity.
What a great and varied list! Some projects are big and need the help of several classes (or churches). Some projects are smaller and can be undertaken well by one class or a few people from one or more class. What have you done to carry the love of Jesus beyond the walls of your Sunday School? Press Comments below and share your ideas. Pray. Plan. Reach out. Share. Love. Touch. Be revolutionary!