In a recent blog post by Ed Stetzer, he quotes one of my friends, Bob Mayfield who is the Sunday School/Adult Discipleship Specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Stetzer’s post is entitled Oklahoma and Missional Ministry. Here is what Mayfield had to say about missional Sunday School:
Is your Sunday School class impacting your culture, or is it full of people who have been sitting for 20 years? Here’s some good news! Your Sunday School is meant to be a culture changing dynamo!
Are you interested? A new style of Sunday School is emerging that is still appreciative of the classic Sunday School disciplines of the past, but sensitive to the needs of engaging the 21st century with the gospel. We’re calling it Missional Sunday School and here’s what it looks like:
- They do not have lessons! They invite people to engage the Bible and search and discover the eternal truth of God’s Word, rather than having information given to them;
- This class functions like a “community of evangelism” that invites their lost friends and neighbors in for a view of authentic Christianity;
- Missional Sunday Schools build bridges to the culture and engage in ministry in the community, often by partnering with community services;
- Because these new classes are reaching beyond the walls of their class, churches with missional Sunday Schools have more people enrolled in Sunday School than they have church members (Oklahoma, by the way, has 31% fewer people enrolled in Sunday School than members);
- These missional classes are actively praying for their lost friends and neighbors to come to Christ;
- Missional classes use “team evangelism”. They recognize that for most people, becoming a Christian is a journey and a number of people can help bring someone to Christ;
- Because these classes are relationally driven, they tend to be smaller classes.
Revolutionary Sunday School is not self-serving. It is led by God, pursues His agenda, and obeys His commands. Revolutionary Sunday School is on-mission, His mission, His co-mission (Matthew 28:19-20). These classes pray together. They pray for friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors. They pray for opportunities to be light in a dark world. They take active steps to make a difference. Be missional. Be revolutionary!