I am a Sunday School pastor. What I mean by that is I am a big fan of Sunday School. Today, this open and consistent time of small group Bible study is being called by different names. Some churches call it small group, rather than Sunday School. Some churches call it cell groups, rather than Sunday School. Some churches call it life groups, rather than Sunday School. The name is not as important as the concept. I want to share with you my top ten reasons I believe in Sunday School. These are in no particular order of importance.
1. Entry: Sunday School classes serve as an entry point into the local church. From the outside, entering the church can be difficult and stressful in determining what is happening. It is in Sunday School classes that an individual can find an entry point, an open door, to the church as a whole. An individual can determine the church’s mission, vision and gain a better understanding of what the church is all about; before committing to full membership.
2. Relationships: As a church leader, I am learning more and more how relationships matter to people. Sunday School gives a person the opportunity to meet and build relationships with others who are at the same place in their lives. This small group time is critical in building relationships that aid in the removal of obstacles and barriers.
3. Education: We teach the Bible in Sunday School. Paul told Timothy to “be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Sunday School is our primary time of corporate Bible study. Groups come together for an ongoing and consistent time of learning. While it definitely possible to study the Bible on our own, and we should, Sunday School giver the opportunity to hear how God is working in the lives of others. We learn from their experiences.
4. Accountability: Every Christian is first accountable to God. After that, each Christian should then have another to be accountable to. Sunday School offers this needed connection. It is in this small group setting that one is able to share cares, concerns, personal challenges, and fears. When a Christian has someone they know will be asking about how their journey is going, there is an increased effort in pursuing Christ-like lifestyle.
5. Potential: Sunday School has a wonderful future. It is flexible. As specific needs in our community are discovered, Sunday School has the potential to respond. Sunday School, cell groups, life groups, or whatever you may call it can go off-site and begin to meet the need quicker than the entire church can. This potential should move us to seek pockets of people who have specific ministry needs.