What are some practical applications to help your group be more evangelistic? Here are some basic essentials from my point of view that may be helpful…
1. Quality Leadership. In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins uses the image of a bus to illustrate how effective corporations get the right people on the bus, and in the right seats. While the church is not a business (non-profit right), there is a good principle to learn here that Rainer’s research discovered. Evangelistic churches put their best leaders into the Sunday School leadership. If you truly believe that the Sunday School is the church organized to accomplish its mission, then doesn’t it make sense to put the best leaders in the Sunday School? But these churches went beyond leadership placement! They also had leadership training!
- Training is focused on quality;
- Training is periodic and intensive;
- Training honors time and resources.
If you are a teacher, agreeing to be a teacher was just the initial step. You also need training. Nobody knows everything about Sunday School. If your church does not provide training for its leaders, ask them to help out and provide it. We are offering training that you can download off the internet that is qualitative and resourceful. Check out One Day and put some of this training to use. Best, it’s FREE!
2. Responsibility. Let’s face it, as a Sunday School teacher you have more responsibility than most other church members. Read James 3:1 just to refresh your memory. A major part of your responsibility is to care for the people in your class, and the surrounding network of friendships spinning out of of your class. I used to require my leaders to fill in those organization charts. Although I am still a fan of this style of organization, I encourage you as a teacher to use a system that works for you and your group. The bottom line is that every member in your group needs consistent contact and ministry.
3. Organizational Quality. Healthy Sunday Schools are not slip-shod organizations. There are quality controls. One of my Sunday School mentors has been Bill Taylor. Bill told me once that “what gets inspected gets done”. He is right. As a Sunday School teacher, you need to be open and accountable to your pastor, Sunday School director, and your education minister if you have one. Teachers who become protective of their class and refuse to be accountable to their leaders are, well can I just say this… you are being rebellious! Your class will learn to be rebellious through your leadership. Submit yourself to your church leadership.
4. Evangelistic Intensity. Sunday School classes do not become evangelistic by accident. In fact, of all the things a class does, being evangelistic seems to be the most difficult. We human beings just have a tendency to turn inward. Inwardly focused classes are not evangelistic! One of your primary goals as a teacher is to lead your group to be evangelistic and fight the natural tendency of a class to become introspective.
Some practical suggestions to help your class be evangelistic:
- Pastors – start small. Focus your efforts on helping one class become evangelistic and let success build success!
- Teach your class a gospel presentation at least twice a year. Use One Verse Method or the Roman Road;
- Have a class evangelistic prayer list;
- Involve your group in evangelistic opportunities that your church provides;
- Memorize verses about evangelism. They should roll off the tip of your tongue upon request;
- Take one or two class members with you on evangelistic visits;
- Be an evangelist yourself. It encourages others when they know their leader practices what he/she teaches.
Leave some questions or comments about your experiences with healthy, evangelistic Sunday Schools.
Bob is the Sunday School and small group specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Bob has also served the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention and he has been minister of education at First Baptist Church, Chandler, AZ and Indiana Avenue Baptist Church in Lubbock, TX