SUNDAY SCHOOL ON LIFE SUPPORT. Many Sunday Schools across the country are sick, and many are dying. No one new (except for relatives) has attended in months or years. In fact, no one new has even been invited, and no one new is expected (sometimes even wanted).
No new classes have been started in years. No new leaders have been enlisted. No teachers or leaders have been trained. Classes have been combined or dropped. Absent members are not prayed for, cared for, or pursued.
Vision is lacking. Expectations are low or nonexistent. Sunday School is not promoted. Sunday School testimonies if shared are done so privately and are more often complaints.
Teachers are ill-prepared. Lessons are scattered and short. Life change is not expected. Too often the teacher does all the talking or simply allows continual rabbit chasing. Simply stated, Sunday School is on life support.
GROWING, HEALTHY SUNDAY SCHOOL. Like the human body, healthy Sunday School grows and multiplies. God is at work and that is attractive. Members are excited. They talk about God and Sunday School. They invite others to join them. Guests visit, return, and join.
Members want to be together. They find time for planned and spontaneous times of fellowship, projects, and meals. They notice when another member is absent. They pray and reach out in care.
Leaders are enlisted and apprenticed in the classes. More care and outreach are provided in the classes. As a result, more classes are started to care for even more people. More church and community leaders are stretched and trained and mobilized.
Lessons are more than discussions of a book called the Bible. They are prepared encounters with a living, loving God. The Bible is opened and God in His Word is encountered during the Bible study session. Lives are touched as scripture is applied to their lives and they are encouraged to live out the truth He is speaking.
The pastor, staff, Sunday School directors, have a common, exciting, practical vision of how Sunday School can help the church carry out the Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations.” Each person understands what is necessary and is willing to sacrifice to accomplish the work.
Measure your Sunday School or your class? Which one of these descriptions more accurately describes your class or Sunday School? Circle the phrases in the previous two descriptions. Where do you need to work to move toward growing, healthy Sunday School? What can you do this week?