Let me say from the outset, I am a believer in both the practicality and the functionality of Flake’s Formula. Over the years, I have seen it work…when it was worked. One thing that has stood out to me about Flake’s Formula is the fact that in Building a Standard Sunday School and The True Functions of the Sunday School, from which the “formula” was extracted, there is not a lot of biblical basis given for the principles and that concerned me. To add to that concern, I have heard, as some look at the principles, make the observation, “These are just solid business principles.” And to that I would agree but then the question arises, “Where do solid business principles come from?” The answer to that, of course, is God’s Word. A quick read of the Proverbs alone will outline a basic business plan for anyone who desires to do business God’s way.
Recently I shared Flake’s Formula with our Sunday School leaders in multiple teaching settings. They, in turn, taught the same lessons to their classes over several weeks on Sunday mornings. I wanted to know if truly these principles, in their entirety, were in the Bible. In preparation for these lessons, and to my delight (and no real surprise), they were all there. Let me list some of the scripture passages I found from which I believe Arthur Flake very well could have based his “formula.”
- Know the Possibilities (Nehemiah 1:1-4; 2:1-4; Mark 6:32-38; Luke 14:28-31)
- Enlarge the Organization (Genesis 1:27-28; Exodus 18:13-27; Matthew 9:37-38; Luke 6:12-13; Acts 6:1-7)
- Enlist and Train the Workers (Matthew 4:18-22; Matthew 9:37-38; Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15)
- Provide Space and Equipment (Joshua 13-22; 2 Kings 4:1-7)
- Go After the People (Matthew 28:18-20; John 4:3-7, 34-35)
The passages of Scripture listed here are by no means exhaustive of what is actually in the Bible and there were other passages I used in the teaching context as well. The point being very simple, while Arthur Flake may not have had bullet points with sub points listing Scripture, his principles are rooted in God’s Word.
I am sure that any student of the Bible could do a far more thorough job than I in discovering many other verses that could have impacted Mr. Flake over his lifetime. But the bottom line being that Flake’s Formula is not only practical and functional but it is Scriptural as well.