What’s the Big Deal about Sunday School???

July 19, 2011

Pastor's Study

Sunday School – This ministry of the Church is under all kinds of attacks these days.  When you look at the numbers (especially within our own denomination), you find that the number of people attending Sunday School continues to decrease.  Many believe that it is a relic of the past and needs to be put up on the shelf forever.  The argument goes that our “new” culture has moved beyond the need of such an archaic method of ministry.  Well, I disagree!!  When I first came to South Fork, one of the four areas of emphasis that the church family believed God was leading us to focus on was the Sunday School.  Here are four basic reasons (please understand that there are many more!)

 1)      Scriptural Education:  We are commanded to study God’s Word so that we can understand it properly and apply it correctly in our lives.  The ministry of the Sunday School is designed for just that!  In a small group setting, we come together to hear our teacher explain the text, ask questions about the text and discuss the meaning and application –  TOGETHER.  Yes, together!  And it makes a difference.  My class helps keep me accountable as we study together.  My class keeps me on track when I have difficulty in understanding a text.  My class encourages me as we attempt to live our lives as the Scripture teaches!

 2)      Social Interaction:  The early Church was a place of fellowship.  They apparently loved each other enough to want to spend time with each other.  The members of my Sunday School class are my friends.  We enjoy being with each other.   We actually set aside at least one hour a week to spend together – yep! You guessed it – 10:00am on Sunday Morning.   It is not so much that we “have” to; rather, we want to be together and look forward to that time.

  3)      Church Assimilation:  Don’t get lost in that “big” word.  It simply means that when God adds new members to our family, they are looking for a place to get plugged into.  They want a place where they know they are needed and wanted.  They are also looking for the place where they can use their gifts and abilities.  Sunday School provides a place to start this process.  A “comfortable,” non-threatening and loving place to find out exactly where they fit into the family.   It has been documented that if the Church doesn’t provide this opportunity, those new members that came in the front door of the church will soon be leaving out the back door of the Church!

 4)      Church Growth:  Most churches I know that are growing have an engaging and vital Sunday School Ministry.  What better place to bring a friend than into a warm group of friends!  Statistics will remind us that most people attend a new church because they received a personal invitation from a friend.  Sometimes we Pastors think that they came just because we are such great preachers!!  The truth is they came to find a place where they will be accepted and loved.  There is no better place to find that than in Sunday School!

 So, I challenge us…DON’T GIVE UP ON SUNDAY SCHOOL.  Instead, let’s join hands and work hard to see our Sunday School Ministry thrive!  See you Sunday – AT 10:00AM!!

About Pastor

My Family: My wife and I have been married for 30 years (wow! that's hard to believe.) We have four wonderful children and EIGHT perfect grandchildren!! Education: I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Pastoral Theology from Tennessee Temple University. After serving Bethel Baptist Church in Ontario, Canada as Youth Pastor and South Buncombe Baptist in Asheville, NC as Associate Pastor, we moved to Wake Forest, NC where I attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1995, I received my Master of Divinity degree (with languages.) From 1999-2001, I attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary pursuing my Doctor of Ministry degree in Expository Preaching. Ministry: I have had the privilege of pastoring three wonderful congregations (Montwood Baptist 1993-1997; Union Baptist 1997-2002; and, South Fork Baptist 2010-present.) In 2010, God brought a very special group of people into my life. South Fork has become much more than a ministry to my family - it has become our home. If you are looking for a Church to call home, you will not find a better group of people than the family that makes up South Fork.

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