Recently, I had the joy of visiting with my daughter and son-in-law in Indonesia. My son-in-law is a music “guru” at the Bandung Alliance Intercultural School, a school connected with the Network of International Christian Schools. They live on the most populated island in the world. Indonesia consists of around 17,000 Islands and boasts the largest Muslim population in the world.
One of the main objectives of the Tennessee Baptist Convention is to see at least 50,000 Tennesseans saved, baptized and set on the road to discipleship. This goal would easily be reached in Tennessee if every Sunday School Class and every Small group would begin to see their class differently, think like a missionary, adopt a plan, recruit the members to practice team evangelism, and take action to become engaged in the harvest fields that surround their church. As I have listened to the call to prayer over the loud speaker and observed those living in the Kampung where my daughter and son-in-law live, I am thinking like a missionary.
Historically, the Sunday School was age-graded for the primary purpose of outreach and evangelism. The classes were expected to reach out to others in their neighborhoods and communities with the goal of enrolling them in the class. When lost people were enrolled and attended the Bible study, many were saved. I am convinced that Sunday School class and groups are a sleeping giant. If teachers and group leaders catch a fresh vision and begin to think like a missionary, the impact on lostness and on our world will be unmeasurable.
Thinking Like a missionary requires classes to ask some simple questions. Who could our class best reach? What people group could we adopt? What neighborhood or street or business or school could our class become engaged with? What are the needs of these people and groups? How could our class meet these needs? What’s the best way to get them involved in a Bible Study? Will they come to the church? Do we need to start a Bible study where they live or work to reach them?
Thinking like a missionary should lead to action. Remember the goal is to see them saved, baptized, and set on the road to discipleship. As the leader of your class or your Sunday School, begin to see your class differently and think like a missionary. Your class can make an impact on your community.
Mark Miller is the Sunday School specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Mark also blogs at drmarkmiller.org