Summary: The purpose and foundations for a growing Sunday School.
September 7, 2003
Sunday School – 101
Intro.: Today we began yet another year for the Sunday School. This year brings brand new teachers as well as veteran teachers. To each and all thank you for responding to God’s call and for fulfilling your part in the body of Christ through the Sunday School organization. If you have committed to teaching in the Sunday School for 2003-04, would you please stand. (PRAYER)
A long as I can remember, since God called me to be a Pastor, God has given me a burden for the Sunday School. I believe it is the single best organizational teaching unit in the entire church. In a generation where some church growth writers have been predicting the demise of the Sunday School I still believe it is the finest integrated church growth tool for the church of any century and of any size.
I believe that with a few adjustments aimed at modernization and contextualization, our Sunday School ministry can be raised to a higher level of priority and commitment and for it to remain as the church growth tool of the twenty-first century. Three key values to building a stronger Sunday School and Sunday School class if we are going to teach to change lives.
I. A Sunday School Class Must OPEN the Scriptures.
A. Luke 24:27.
1. Observation # 1: God’s Word must be carried to Sunday School before it can opened in Sunday School.
2. Teachers you need to be encouraging your students every week to be bringing their copy of God’s Word with them.
3. You also need to be asking your students to open their copy of God’s written Word.
4. If we are going to be a people of the Book we must begin at the point of bringing our Book to Sunday School and opening it.
B. Here’s what happens when God’s Word is opened – GOD SPEAKS TO US.
1. Isn’t that great? When we open God’s Word God speaks to us.
2. God’s Word is able to communicate to every age person who is willing to listen.
3. That’s why we have the different translations – children’s to adults.
4. LISTEN: There are many translations but only one interpretation.
5. Every Sunday School class should be opening the Bible that God may speak directly to them.
6. In a time and age when churches are asking their members not to bring their Bibles to church because it’s printed in the literature or on a large screen - Believers and non-believers need to see and read the words of God in their own Bible.
C. Observation # 2: If you don’t open God’s Word you will open everything else under the sun.
1. How much time do we spend talking about the weather, sports, cows, wheat, aches and pains?
2. I’m not advocating anti-socialism.
3. By the way that’s why it’s so important to start on time also.
4. Sunday School starts at 9:45 and we dismiss at 10:40.
5. Teachers – the only time some of our student’s open their Bible is during the Sunday School time.
6. That may be their only hour to hear and study God’s Word.
7. “Expounded” = to explain thoroughly, it means to translate.
8. Each week as teachers we are translating the Bible to our students. (Navajo)
9. The purpose of translating is that everyone may understand.
10. We need to share with our students from Genesis to Revelation.
11. From creation of the world to the death of Jesus Christ and His Second Coming.
12. To be a catalyst to growth a Sunday School class must open the Scriptures.
II. A Sunday School Class Must REVEAL the Scriptures.
A. Luke 24:31, 45.
1. Reveal = to comprehend. To bring or set together (puzzle)
2. We now move from the literal to the spiritual.
3. Our Bibles have been opened and now it’s time for our minds to be opened.
4. This is the place where the light bulb comes on.
5. This is where God’s Word connects with people.
6. This is where all your preparation is met with exclamation.
7. Revealing Scripture to people is when the words of God are jumping off the page and being written on the tablet of their heart.
6. This is where the spirit of God mixes with the spirit of man.
B. To reveal Scripture means we may need to become more creative in our presentation of Scripture.
1. Currently our Sunday School classes use all different methods/styles of teaching. (Children to adults)
2. Straight lecture to the more formal discussion setting.
3. Some classes use drama and some use case studies.
4. Some use coffee and donuts, others use hard chairs with a 1920 picture of Jesus hanging on the wall.