This is article four of a ten part series. Click here to view the previous article.
But I believe that in many of our churches Sunday School has lost its purpose. It has become simply a program that exists to sustain itself. Today, we have a lot of people that diss a program. There is nothing wrong with a program; it’s simply an organized way of doing something. We’re reminded in TC: If structure is not added to what God starts, the powerful momentum can be short lived. Tri Robinson, Revolutionary Leadership
However, when a program is not mission-oriented it quickly loses its reason for being. The focus is on keeping the program spinning, and consequently on Sunday morning the Sunday School Director goes to the secretary’s office and helps her count nickels and noses and if there is a vacant hole, he grabs a round person and stuffs him into that square hole just to keep the program spinning. It exists to sustain itself, not to accomplish the mission. Sunday School must re-discover its true identity and purpose; not as a program or a church growth strategy but a mission-oriented ministry for making disciples and transforming lives through Transformational Small Communities.
Read Acts 8:30-35 and Listen for God’s Mission…
Later God’s angel spoke to Philip: ‘At noon today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza.’
He got up and went. He met an Ethiopian eunuch coming down the road. He was riding in a chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit told Philip, ‘Climb into the chariot.’ Running up alongside, Philip heard the eunuch reading Isaiah and asked, ‘Do you understand what you’re reading?’ He answered, ‘How can I without some to help?’ and invited Philip into the chariot with him. The eunuch said, ‘Tell me who is the prophet talking about: himself or some other?’ Philip grabbed his chance. Using this passage as his text, he preached Jesus to him.
What was God’s Mission? For Philip…For the church…For Sunday School…For your class or small group…For you…
The Mission has not changed! Principle: A Mission oriented Sunday School is outwardly focused and intentionally evangelistic.
What is needed to develop a Mission-Oriented Transformational Small Communities ministry?
A Mission-Oriented Pastor
- To lead the church to discover its Mission.
- To Empower the Sunday School to accomplish its purpose of making disciples.
A Mission-Oriented Sunday School Ministry Team – Without a team, the SS Director’s hands are tied. He can’t do this by him/herself. With a team, a mission-oriented, transformational, disciple-making strategy can be planned.
- Sunday School Director
- Outreach Coordinator – Works with Class Outreach Leaders
- Ministry Coordinator – Works with Class Care Group Leaders
- Adult Representative – One of the Adult Teachers
- Student/Youth Representative – One of the Youth Teachers
- Children’s Representative – One of the Children’s Teachers
- Preschool Representative – One of the Preschool Teachers
Functions of the Sunday School Ministry Team:
- Annual Planning: to accomplish the mission of the church. Each spring the team meets for an extended planning time to plan the year of Sunday School Ministry. Example: Meet Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon. Divide the year into seasonal quarters and plan each quarters work.
- Monthly Coordination: Keeping track and measuring progress of Transformational Ministry.
- Evaluate past ministries
- Coordinate current ministry
- Plan Ahead for future ministries
A Mission-Oriented Sunday School Organization with a Missionary Mentality in which each group can answer the question: Who is your ‘People Group’?
- Age Grading
- Generational Group
- Affinity Group
Organize your Sunday School based on who needs to be reached in your community. Create small groups so that each has a people group to reach. Example: People in a small group for 25-35 year old adults will focus on the 25-35 age group as their people group to reach. This is a missionary mentality for developing a disciple-making culture.
Mission – Oriented Care Groups in Adult/Student Classes
- One Care Group Leader for every 4-6 members
- Function: Contact Every Member and Prospect Every Week.
Next week’s blog post( number five of ten) will on Word Driven
Phil Stone is the State Sunday School Director for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.