I mentioned in Part 1 that Sunday School is not a program that happens only one hour per week. Sunday School is a people ministry that takes place 168 hours each week. There are no bounds that say that ministry, relationships, outreach, teaching-learning, encounters with God, etc. all have to take place on Sunday. In fact, they should not be limited!
In Part 1, I challenged readers to stretch your class! I shared that there are hundreds of ways to extend the ministry and work of your class beyond the walls of the class and beyond the Sunday morning experience. In Part 1, I suggested three areas of responsibility for which Sunday School can do so: evangelism, discipleship, and fellowship. In Part 2, I will conclude with a look at the Sunday School areas of responsibility of ministry and worship:
- MINISTRY. In some ways, this area may be the most obvious in thinking how the class can stretch beyond the walls of the class and beyond the Sunday morning session. After all, members and prospects live real lives with real challenges away from the church. Care group leaders discover the needs of members and prospects by making weekly contacts (check out Care Groups: Prayer, Ministry, Assimilation, and Invitation). They organize members of the care group and/or class to mobilize to meet the needs that are discovered. Individuals reach out in love and concern to others in the class and community (check out Sunday School Ministering in Times of Difficulty). In addition, someone in the class should be responsible for encouraging every attender to serve the Lord in some way in the church or community. Classes have ministry projects at least quarterly (or some examples, check out Thanksgiving Sunday School Class Ministry Projects).
- WORSHIP. Worship is more than a service. Worship is a lifestyle. It is an attitude before God. It is meeting God in Bible study--in class, in personal devotions, and in the worship service. Sunday School encourages and supports worship daily through a quiet time of prayer and Bible study. Praying through scripture is a great way to practice this (check out Teaching Sunday School Members to Pray Through Scripture). This includes recognizing God's worship (true meaning of worship) and praising Him and His name. Worship leads as well to a thankful heart. Sunday School encourages obedience as a result of the encounter with God in Bible study which is a true act of worship (Romans 12:1-2).
Evaluate your class. If twenty is a perfect score for each area, add up your score for the five areas. If you score 75 or higher, your class is doing a great job of stretching beyond Sunday morning and beyond the walls of the church. If you score 50-74, you your class could use some balance in one or two areas. Choose one and plan some steps to address is in the next month. If you score below 50, it is time to take some baby steps in one area into the other 167 hours.
Considering all five areas (evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, and worship), how can you lead your class to stretch this year? Pray. Challenge. Hold them accountable. Check on progress. Then challenge them some more. Be revolutionary!