In the twelve months since the release of the book by Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer reporting its findings, the Transformational Church research project has already begun to create a buzz within
the Sunday School and Small Group movements. A lot of leaders are asking this question: “What might it our Sunday School class or small group looklike if it reflected the seven elements found in the Transformational Churches?” I’ve attempted to answer that question in a little book, Transformational Class: Transformational Church Goes to Sunday School.
In the Spring of 2009, a team of LifeWay consultants fanned out across the country to conduct interviews with pastors from multiple denominations whose churches scored in the top ten percent of the initial quantitative research phase of the Transformational Church project. It is my privilege to lead that team, which assembled in Nashville to debrief this qualitative phase with LifeWay Research VP Ed Stetzer. It was amazing to hear that what I had recorded in my interviews with pastors in New England was also observed by our consultants across the country and across denominational lines. Want to know what the seven elements are? Visit www.transformationalchurch.com!
Missional small communities
If you’ve ever heard Dr. Stetzer speak, you’ve likely heard him exhort church leaders to get people out of rows, into circles, and from those circles to engage them in missional activity in their communities and beyond. I believe that a group that intentionally pursues the seven TC elements will likely become that kind of class: a Transformational Class!
The Power of One Class
If you’ve ever heard me speak, you’ve likely heard me exhort Sunday School and small group leaders about the power of each and every class to choose to become a group that practices the 3 R’s of a Great Commission group: reaching people for Christ, releasing people to serve, and reproducing itself for Kingdom impact. The seven elements can help guide such intentionality in every one of the 400,000-plus Sunday School classes in Southern Baptist churches, as well as small groups and classes beyond the SBC.
From seven elements to thirty topics
I am so grateful for my friends who serve as the champion for Sunday School in the 42 state conventions that serve Southern Baptist churches. While most of them wear multiple hats, I think of them first of all as State Sunday School Directors. It is in that role that these outstanding men and women sponsor this blog. They have identified thirty topics that relate to a transformational class. Each day this month, they will tackle one of these topics. By the time you’ve read them all, you should have a pretty good grasp on the kinds of attitudes and actions it will take to turn your Sunday school class into a transformational small community. I’m looking forward to reading every one. Hope you are, too!
David Francis, Director
Sunday School, Discipleship,
Church & Network Partnerships
LifeWay Church Resources