The Goal of Sunday School: Make Disciples not Teach Lessons

Thursday 7th October, 2010

Today I served as an observer in one of the seven small groups during Immersion I training sponsored by the Kentucky Baptist Convention and held at Crestwood Baptist Church in Crestwood, Kentucky. Seven of us from the KBC attended Immersion I training at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho, back in February, and we wanted to bring that training back to churches in Kentucky.

I am guessing that the 75 participants are from about 25 churches around the Commonwealth. Some are church plants and some were started nearly two hundred years ago. Some utilize small groups and some Sunday School. In addition, several are from Hispanic churches.

At one point, our discussion turned to the issue of alignment. We talked about difficulty in heading in one direction when everyone is not on the same page. It is challenging to lead a group somewhere when you can't agree on meanings and important issues, have conflicting expectations (or none), and have no communicated destination. In fact, that is a common issue in many Sunday Schools.

For the Sunday School, the destination needs to shift from teaching a lesson to making disciples. But what does a disciple look like? What does a disciple do? What does a disciple think about? How can Sunday School work together with the Holy Spirit to make disciples if we have no idea of our destination?

I want to encourage you to gather your class members (if you are the teacher) or your teachers and workers (if you are the director or pastor). Seek their input. Get as many practical ideas as possible. In the process of sharing their ideas about a disciple looks like, they begin to own the shift in thinking.

Then get their input about how can Sunday School begin to take steps to produce that kind of person: a disciple. What does Sunday School need to do in class and between classes? What changes are needed? What does that shift in thinking mean about teaching and learning?

What other questions would you add to that discussion? What steps have you taken to help your teachers and workers begin to examine this change? Share your ideas and experiences below by pressing Comments. Pray. Think. Discuss. Plan. Shift thinking and practice. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about making disciples, check out these blog posts:

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