During this season we celebrate the best Christmas present ever, the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. God cared about us too much to leave us alone. He sent His Son on a mission. His mission was to repair our broken relationship with God. Jesus did not leave that Christmas present wrapped in beautiful paper, ribbon, and bow. Instead he took the form of a servant and went to the cross for you and me (Philippians 2:5-11).
Before ascending into heaven, Jesus commanded His disciples as they were going to “make disciples of all nations.” He didn’t tell them to stay huddled up in the Upper Room until He returned. He didn’t tell them to wait for the nations to come to them. No, he told them to make disciples as they were going. He told us, as His disciples, to make disciples as we are going!
What can a Sunday School class do to enable attenders to be missional, to make disciples as they are going? A Sunday School class can be missional in nearly every action and aspect of her ministry. Consider a few ideas:
- stop teaching lessons and start making disciples; expect big things (could he/she be the next Billy Graham or Lottie Moon?);
- teach them how to be missionaries by putting skin on God’s love;
- train them in how to share their Sunday School testimony and their salvation testimony; expect them to do so and call for reports;
- enlist a ministry/missions leader to challenge the class corporately and individually to be on mission;
- show them how to have spiritual conversations with friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors;
- plan ongoing ministry, outreach, and missions projects;
- challenge class members to invite unchurched people for a meal;
- expect them to reach out, invite more people, and start a new class;
- expect them to step forward to assume leadership responsibilities in the class;
- expect them to leave the class to teach preschool, children, and youth classes and to make room for more people in the adult class;
- challenge class members to take Christmas cookies to neighbors and ask how they can pray for them;
- invite people who are not members to come with you to your class fellowships; and
- expect them to serve as missionaries, making a difference in the marketplace, community, and home.
These ideas only scratch the surface. How can you “equip the saints for works of service” (Ephesians 4:12)? How can you equip them to be on mission? Remember, Sunday School is a 24/7 ministry. Not everything has to be done on Sunday morning. But what you do on Sunday morning shows what you value and expect. Value and expect your class to send out missionaries!
Darryl Wilson has served as Director of the Sunday School Department for the Kentucky Baptist Convention since 1997. He served as Minister of Education in churches in South Carolina and Kentucky. He is the author of The Sunday School Revolutionary!, a blog about life-changing Sunday School and small groups.