Yesterday I began writing on the top 10 reasons why I believe in Sunday School. I shared the first five reasons: entry, relationships, education, accountability, and potential. I want to finish today with reasons six through ten.
6. Function: I believe healthy Sunday Schools make healthy churches. A healthy Sunday School looks and functions like a small congregation. The church has five over-arching purposes: worship, fellowship, discipleship, evangelism, and ministry. A healthy church has a balance of all five. Sunday School classes take on these functions as well. As our Sunday School classes begin to share the gospel through evangelism, prepare the people’s heart for worship, serve others through ministry, spend time with each other in fellowship, and take the growth of every believer to heart through discipleship, our churches will be healthier.
7. Fellowship: Age-graded Sunday School classes allow Christians to fellowship together through common life experiences. It is critical for Christians to spend time together away from the church building. These times of fellowship are very important. These times of fellowship build a sense of community and offer a non-threatening way of inviting a lost friend.
8. Development: I believe that Sunday School offers an often-over-looked benefit: leadership development. Within the Sunday School classes, there are positions of leadership on the micro level. Teachers, apprentice teachers, care group leaders, and outreach directors are just a few. As a person leads out on the small group level, it builds confidence and prepares them for areas of leadership and service to the larger church body.
9. Evangelism: Sunday School is evangelistic in nature. Sunday School is a great avenue for a Christian to invite a lost friend or family member for them to hear about Jesus Christ. Although a gospel message is regularly given from the pulpit, Sunday School offers a needed component. As a lost person sits in a small group, they can hear the gospel explained in greater detail and even asks questions about what it means to be a Christian. Sunday School is a safe and non-threatening environment for the lost to begin to explore the claims of Christ. Under the umbrella of Sunday School is Vacation Bible School which serves a major outreach event for children.
10. Ministry: I believe Sunday School because real ministry happens there; both inward and outward. Because of Sunday School classes being smaller, a more aware and focused care for the members can take place. Inwardly, classes minister to each other in times of sorrow, joy, and need. Outwardly, Sunday School classes themselves can minister to those outside in the community through mission projects. When this happens at the micro level, the excitement and passion spreads to the macro level.