Laying the Foundation for Sunday School

Saturday 8th August, 2009

I am in the process of preparing for laying laminate on the first floor of our home. I say "preparing" because it has been a long process. The floor has had to be made level. Apparently there were a couple of floor joists which were higher than the others. It was not very noticeable under carpet but would be obvious under laminate. That has led to much work.

To bring the floor up to the level of the linoleum on the rest of the floor, I added plywood which would bring it up to the level of the ridge and added underlayment to fill in the space between and on the other side. And then I have been sanding the underlayment so that it smoothly transitions. Will it work? It is too early to tell. But I know that the foundation is absolutely essential for a good job.

The same is true for Sunday School. A good foundation is essential for a good job in Sunday School. What makes up the foundation for revolutionary Sunday School? Many elements could be listed, but during this season when many Sunday School's are gearing up for the beginning of a new year of Sunday School consider the following:

  • UNDERSTANDING THE MISSION AND VISION. The MISSION is big and plain: make disciples of all nations by leading them to accept Jesus and to obey His commands (Matthew 28:19-20). Plug unconnected people into Sunday School, and more will become disciples than if they had attended worship alone. Sunday School also helps to keep them connected to the church which in turn allows more to continue growth as disciples and mobilization into the harvest. The VISION is unique. What would it look like if Sunday School were to accomplish the mission? What is the preferable result of revolutionary Sunday School work? People will be touched, changed, assimilated, and mobilized. The community will be influenced for Jesus. Paint the vision BIG.
  • ORGANIZING TO CARRY OUT THE WORK. Many Sunday Schools are organized small. The pot (space and organization) keep them that way. Organize to reach. Organize to grow. Organize to care. Make sure someone is in charge and leads. Hold leaders positively accountable to carry out the work. Give God your best effort. Organize to be effective, to grow, and to carry out the mission and vision.
  • ENLISTING AND TRAINING GOD-CALLED LEADERS. Get the right leaders in the right places. Seek leaders who are following God's lead. Seek them prayerfully. Apprentice and observe. Coach and mentor. The right team can be the difference between winning and losing. Enlist and train them to win. Go over the fundamentals. Remind them of essentials. And challenge them to excel in areas of passion, ability, and giftedness. Trust them to carry out the assigned work.
  • EVALUATING, PLANNING, AND ADJUSTING. Carry out the mission and vision. Stop to evaluate progress and goals. What is working well and what could be done differently and better next time? Adjust plans and goals as needed to keep the pursuit of the mission and vision on target. Involve a team in evaluating and making the plans to create ownership. And don't forget to celebrate. Give God the praise, thanks, and glory He deserves!
Which of these four foundations need to be strengthened in your Sunday School in the year ahead? Get together with other Sunday School leaders and ask them to work with you in pursuing a strong, God-honoring foundation for your Sunday School. Understand the mission and vision. Organize to carry out the work. Enlist and train God-called leaders. Evaluate, plan, and adjust. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about goals for Sunday School, check out these blog posts:

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