Allan Taylor, minister of education at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, GA, has lots of little sayings. One of my favorites is that “leaders lead, they don’t point.” In Sunday School, leaders must lead.
How they lead Sunday School is based on how they see Sunday School and how they see Sunday School is based on what they believe about Sunday School. Leaders and members primarily view Sunday School in one of three ways. Many view Sunday School simply as a school.
If you asked the normal church member, “Why do we have Sunday School?” Regardless of church size, many will say to learn the Bible or to study the Bible. If a pastor, Sunday School Director, or a teacher views Sunday School as a school, the goal is to have a satisfying Bible Study Experience for all ages. In turn, they will lead the Sunday School in a way to accomplish this worthy goal.
In other to accomplish this goal, classes must be determined, teachers enlisted and trained, and space provided. The Bible is the textbook, but resources such as curriculum are usually provided to aid in accomplishing the goal of a satisfying Bible Study Experience. Stories of what is being learned are gathered and Sunday School is promoted as a place to grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Word of God.
Many times leaders fail to lead and they simply point. They allow teachers to teach whatever they desire, classes to become a hodgepodge of ages, and information is not gathered on members and guests. When leaders fail to lead and simply point, Sunday School can become simply an event on the church’s calendar.
Having a Satisfying Bible Study Experience is a worthy goal and foundational to successful Sunday Schools. If you see Sunday School as a school, lead don’t point.
In the next several articles, I want to challenge you to consider Sunday School not just as a school but as an assimilation tool and strategy for evangelism.