I just completed a series of three articles on three views of Sunday School. I started with one of Allan Taylor, minister of education at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, GA, colloquiums: “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.
The first way to view Sunday School is as a school. The goal is to have a Satisfying Bible Study Experience. Building on that solid foundation, many church leaders utilize Sunday School as an Assimilation Tool. The goal is to build quality relationships. Continuing to build on this viewpoint, Sunday School can become the Evangelism Arm of the church with a goal of participating in Kingdom endeavors.
My desire is that every Sunday School Director, minister of education, staff member, and Pastor would begin to view Sunday School as a Strategy to fulfill the Great Commission. This becomes a blend of all of these viewpoints. When the leaders begin to see Sunday School as more than a school or even a Small connect group, they will lead their Sunday School to greater heights.
The reality is that regardless of the leaders’ view and emphasis, every church will have classes on all three of these levels. Some classes never move from just being a class, where teaching is primary. Some groups become small communities where ministry and relationships flourish. Few classes ever become those missional groups that are constantly on mission for God. But a church struggles to overcome a leader that has no vision and does not believe that Sunday School is an incredible tool given to the church to fulfill his Great Commission.
So Lead, don’t point.
To read the other blog articles in this series: