In Part 1, I mentioned an interesting article I had read entitled Saving Sunday School by Peter Beck. Beck is assistant professor of religion at Charleston Southern University where he teaches history and theology. In the article, Beck offers four advantages of a strong Sunday School ministry. In Part 1, I shared the first two advantages. In Part 2, I will share his final two advantages in all capitals followed by my commentary:
- SUNDAY SCHOOL PROVIDES SPIRITUAL ACCOUNTABILITY. With Jesus’ encouragement for us to be “teaching them to obey” everything He has commanded us (Matthew 28:19-20), accountability is essential. Sunday School classes are great places for positive encouragement to keep our commitments. This is easily done in small classes, in pairs, or in triads during class sessions and between them. Spiritual accountability involves caring about each other, listening, praying for each other, and wanting each other to succeed and grow. The best accountability is natural but intentional, flowing out of trusting relationships. Ideally, classes are small enough that everyone can participate and be personally encouraged. For more ideas about accountability, check out these blog posts: Making Disciples Through Accountability in the Adult Sunday School Class, Accountability Partners in the Adult Sunday School Class, Adult Sunday School Class Attenders Can Benefit from an Encourager, Accountability to Read the Bible Through in Sunday School Classes/Small Groups, Five Practices of Life-Changing Small Groups, and An Ownership Problem in Our Sunday School Work.
- SUNDAY SCHOOL PROVIDES BIBLICAL TEACHING. I have said it before, but it bears repeating: it is God in His Word who has the power to change lives. The textbook of Sunday School is the Bible. Yes, we may use a teacher’s book, pupil’s book, commentaries, Bible dictionary, concordances, and other resources to help us to understand God’s Word, but teachers are guides on a journey to better understand God’s Word rather than those other helping resources. Ultimately, we want to lead attenders to meet or experience the God of the Bible. Small group Bible study allows interaction and questions. Sunday School teachers are able to apply the truth to individual lives and needs rather than the masses as in worship. For more ideas about teaching the Bible, check out these blog posts: Leading Attenders to Meet God in Bible Study, Part 1 (and other four parts), Sunday School Teaching Believers to Listen to the Voice of God, Part 1, Sunday School Teaching Believers to Listen to the Voice of God, Part 2, and Four Attitudes for Meeting God During the Sunday School Session.
If you did not take time to read Beck’s article, Saving Sunday School, I encourage you to do so. Also, go back and review Part 1 of this series. What can you do to help your Sunday School or class to become a place of community, service, spiritual accountability, and biblical teaching? What step can you take this week to strengthen one of these advantages? Take steps to grow Sunday School. Be revolutionary!