Sunday School is Full of Oxymorons

Wednesday 12th November, 2008

According to, an oxymoron is "a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in 'cruel kindness' or 'to make haste slowly.'" I am reminded of the medicated salve, Icy Hot. The world is full of oxymorons and so is ministry.

For instance, Jesus is the God-man. God hates sin but loves the sinner. Love is a noun and a verb; it is something you have and something you do. We are saved by God's grace through faith, not works. But as a result of salvation, we realize that faith without works is dead. This is a list that can go on and on.

Sunday School, too, is full of oxymorons. For instance, we are to build trusting relationships with members, but we are also to be open to new people. How can you be open, transparent, honest, confessional, and trusting when people are present you do not yet know? In order for Sunday School to be the evangelistic tool it has the potential to be, this line must be walked. The class must open its relational velcro rather than expose its teflon. Individuals in the class must choose to invest in new relationships in class, at fellowships and projects, and in homes.

Revolutionary Sunday School also seeks to connect and grow while at the same time serving and going. It is about living out what is learned. It is about taking the strengthen of that relationship with God and each other and reaching out to love others to Jesus. It is encouraging each other to flesh out the Gospel.

Sunday School is also about getting larger and getting smaller. It is about loving more people into relationships and to the class, the church, and most importantly to Jesus. It is about adding more people to the ministry list. It is about having more people in attendance. But it is also about multiplying the number of sheep pens and shepherds in order to care for more people. It is about sending out a teacher or an apprentice with a seed group to start another class. It is about growing and praying enough to prepare for the start a new class out of our class.

It is about desiring that every learner be involved in the Bible study session. The larger the class gets, the more the teacher has to rely upon a variety of teaching methods in order to engage every learner. The larger the class gets, the more he/she has to break the group into smaller groups because everyone talks in a small group.

Yes, Sunday School is full of oxymorons. But it is fun to walk the line between the "seemingly self-contradictory" sides. What oxymorons do you see? Press the Comment button below and leave your thoughts. Continue to stretch yourself and others to give your best effort in Sunday School to God, His people, and the lost sheep. Be revolutionary!

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