So much is being written about the “missional church” today. There were over 165,000 results when I did a Google search and over 9,000 when I did a Google blogs search. There are many different ideas and definitions. Back in the spring, I shared some ideas of my friend, Bob Mayfield (Sunday School/Adult Discipleship Specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.), from a post by Ed Stetzer entitled Oklahoma and Missional Ministry. My post quoting Bob Mayfield is entitled What Is Missional Sunday School?.
What started me thinking about this subject again so soon was an article by another friend, Bruce Raley who is the Director of Leadership Ministry, Training and Events at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, TN. Raley’s article is entitled Realization of a Purpose–The Beginning of a Missional Sunday School. In the article, Raley states:
Three key elements are involved in a missional Sunday School. Will Mancini in his book Church Unique, defines these elements as: the concept of our collective purpose, our culture, and our capacity. A missional Sunday School begins with a realization of purpose….
We know the ultimate purpose of our church and Sunday School has been spelled out clearly in the Word. We are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). We are to “make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). We are to “be witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Through all, we are to glorify our God.
When people ask me about the missional Sunday School, I tend to default back to how Sunday School can help the church to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He commanded us to make disciples of all nations. In many ways, every one of my blog posts is an attempt to share how Sunday School, revolutionary Sunday School, carries out that Co-mission with our Lord. In Part 2, I will share more of my ideas, but I wanted to close with seven questions that Raley poses to help classes struggle with their purpose in that mission:
- What energizes the class?
- What does the class tend to pray for the most?
- What would people say is the strength of your class?
- Who are the heroes of the leadership?
- What would you say you are good at?
- If you knew you couldn’t fail, what one thing would you pursue for God?
- If the class was to cease to exist, how would people remember the class?
Let me close by asking what is your purpose as a class? Why did God place you in your church and your community? What mission does He want you to accomplish in the community? What difference does He want you to make for Him? Again, in Part 2, I will share some of my ideas about what a missional Sunday School does. In the meantime, evaluate your Sunday School. How are you doing at “making disciples of all nations” through your Sunday School. Be revolutionary!