The Sunday School ministry has a long and impressive history. The importance of the Sunday School cannot be overstated. In this day when many churches water down the message of the Bible and the depart from the proven methods that build God’s Kingdom, I emphatically state my commitment to the Sunday School ministry as a vital and productive ingredient of a powerful church program.
The Sunday School ministry changed the world once. I believe it can change the world again. Here are six opportunities provided by Sunday School that make it a uniquely powerful ministry.
The Sunday School is a Bible teaching ministry. In our church, we have three times a week scheduled for pointed and powerful Bible preaching. Nothing can take the place of preaching. It is the power of God to them that believe, and God uses it in a special way. However, there is also a need for Bible teaching. Sunday School provides a classroom setting where we not only confirm the fundamentals of the faith but also delve into the deeper things of God. In preaching services, the congregation listens as the man of God delivers the message from God with no apology or questions taken. It is a time for “Thus saith the LORD!”. In contrast, our teaching opportunities provide a chance for students to ask questions and for the teacher to make sure the students understand the truths being taught. Preaching is a proclamation of God’s Truth. Teaching is a conversation about God’s Truth.
The Sunday School is a great place for people to feel like they belong. Everyone wants to be accepted by others and included in a group. Personal connections are crucial to the work of God. Preaching services are large assemblies with a very structured order of service. Often people will come in late or leave quickly after the service and not feel as though they are a part of the church. Sunday School provides the opportunity for folks to become a member of a class made up of people in the same stage of life and facing many of the same struggles. It is a smaller group structured to stimulate fellowship, conversation, and belonging. Also, each class will have activities that encourage the students to get together outside of our regular services.
Because people are registered as members of a Sunday School class, the church is able to record information about them and their families. Teachers should think beyond the usual information such as address, birthday, family members, etc. Each teacher should learn the likes, dislikes, preferences, etc. of the students as well. This information is used to better serve their needs, apply the Bible to their lives, and reach into their world with the glorious Gospel of Christ. In addition, the close relationships we build with students give us a chance to monitor their spiritual condition as they strive to follow Christ.
The Sunday School affords us the opportunity to form godly character in the students by promoting practical righteousness through discipline and repetition. Faithfulness, punctuality, bringing the Bible to church, Bible memorization, wearing your best for the Lord, listening attentively, respecting authority, and many more character traits can be taught and reinforced through the structure of the Sunday School class. A record system should be used that grades the student each week in several critical areas. These records are used as a basis for rewards and are shared with the parents on a Student Progress Report each quarter. These records and rewards provide possibilities for motivation and accountability for the students.
Christ left the church with the commission to preach the gospel to every creature. It is one of the greatest soulwinning tools in the history of the church. Only eternity will tell how it has helped to populate Heaven. The Sunday School provides the following opportunities to declare the Gospel and win the lost.
- In the Classroom – The teacher has the opportunity and the time to win the lost who attend. Visitors may show up on their own, ride a bus or come with a friend or family member. We should always check on the spiritual condition of our guests and seek to register them for the class.
- In the Home – Every student enrolled in Sunday School has other people in their lives that need the gospel. Sons and daughters; dads and moms; brothers and sisters; aunts and uncles; grandmas and grandpas; friends and neighbors who will spend eternity somewhere. Each class should seek to win the loved ones of the students in their class!
- In the Community – Teen and Adult classes should encourage their students to take part in soulwinning opportunities. Each teacher must set the example in this area by faithful soul winning and seek to mobilize their students into service for our Lord.
The Sunday School is a training ground for God’s people. It gives many possibilities for training and service in our mission to train competent and reliable servants of Christ. There are service opportunities in the areas of administration, hospitality, activities, refreshments, cleaning, song leading, singing, piano, organ, soul winning, discipleship, class helpers, and substitute teachers. Church members can receive on the job training and serve our worthy Lord in these areas within the Sunday School program. Decide to involve as many faithful church members as possible in the varied positions of the Sunday School.
Do you have any other thoughts about the Sunday School ministry? Leave a comment.