Our world is a busy place today. Hospitals, stores, gas stations, and other businesses stay open 24/7. As a result, I have been told:
40% of the people in our communities cannot attend Sunday School (or worship) on Sunday morning.
Over recent years, I have tested that statement on leaders in many rural, suburban, and urban areas. All have acknowledged its validity.
Having experienced the life-changing impact of Sunday School, how should we respond to the reality of that statement? Can disciples sent by Jesus to “make disciples of all nations” simply ignore the 40%? What are some potential responses?
- IGNORE. We can stick our heads in the sand and ignore the reality.
- PRAY FOR CHANGE. We can pray that the 40% change their lifestyles making attendance on Sunday possible.
- DISMISS. We can believe the statistic is an exaggeration that does not deserve attention or response.
- PLAN. We can plan a caring response.
If members of this 40% group were your parents, children, or grandchildren, which of four potential responses would you choose for your church? In many cases, this group does include our FRANs: friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors. Revolutionary Sunday School cares and plans to care!
When could Bible study groups meet to allow the 40% to participate? Where could groups meet to make attendance even more accessible? Could the church, homes, or businesses serve as meeting spaces? What if a group met at the hospital or factory right before or after shift change? Would mornings, lunch, afternoons, evenings, or Saturdays fit schedules better? Could neighborhood groups in a home be attractive?
Keep in mind three foundational pillars for all groups: (1) life-changing encounters in God’s Word, (2) organizing the group for relationships and care, and (3) reaching out in service and care to people not in the group.
Do you care? How will you respond?