The following article was copied from The Sunday School Revolutionary issue dated Friday 2nd February, 2007. Darryl Wilson writes The Sunday School Revolutinary Blog, which was just voted by students of Southern Seminary as one of the top religious Blogs. Darryl is the State Sunday School Director for Kentucky. I am a regular reader and appreciate Darryl’s insight. To check out The Sunday School Revolutionary, check out my suggested links.
OVERFLOWING POT OF OIL (2 Kings 4:3-6). Elisha helped a widow by telling her to seek as many jars as she could because her jar of oil would fill all the jars until she ran out of jars. The resulting oil would be enough to pay her debts. Existing groups will frequently have spill-over guests who flow out of the group unless they find a new group to flow into. Sometimes the reason we don’t keep guests is that we have so few pots (groups) in which to hold guests.
MOSES & JETHRO (Exodus 18:17-21). Moses could not care for and serve the masses well alone. With Jethro’s help, Moses was able to organize the large group into small groups of about 10 people. Each group had a leader and each leader had a coach. Accountability often happens best in small groups. When leaders of groups have coaches, the leader is more likely to stay on task and on track. The coach is able to help the leader realize when the span of care is greater than his/her effectiveness and encourage apprenticing and the birthing of a new group.
THE BODY AND NEW CELLS (Romans 12:4-5). What happens when the human body stops producing new cells? It dies. The same is true of the local church body. New cells are necessary in order to sustain life. New cells come in the form of additions to the church body and the addition of new Sunday School classes/small groups. From time to time, older classes/groups will end, but in church body life, new groups are needed regularly for life to be sustained.
SHEEP PENS (John 10:1-16). A sheep pen can only hold so many sheep. In order to hold more sheep, more sheep pens are needed. The same is true of Sunday School classes, adult Bible fellowship groups, and small groups. New groups are needed in order to care for more people.
NEW WINESKINS (Matthew 9:17). New wine bursts and leaks out of old wineskins. New wine is best kept and cared for in new wineskins. This is also true of people new to our classes/groups. They often leak out/leave our existing classes/groups. New classes tend to do the best job of reaching out to and keeping new people. In my experience, existing classes hold onto some new people best when new classes are regularly started. While new classes attract, some people like variety and choose existing classes, and new classes also challenge existing classes to reach out.