Summary: A Sermon dealing with the four basic fundamentals of the Sunday School. - REACHING - TEACHING - CARING - EVANGELIZING
Sunday School – What’s It All About?
Deut. 6:4-9 and Matt. 28:19,20
Years ago one of the greatest programs of the Southern Baptist convention was the Training Union. It was the discipleship training ministry of the church. It declined over the years and died a slow death.
WHY? – Because people failed to see its need and its purpose.
Explanation of texts.
Deut. 6:4-9 – Here is the Hebrew “Shema.” You could call it the John 3:16 of the O.T. It is the fundamental truth of the Jewish religion.
Matt. 28:19,20 – The Great Commission
I. The History of Sunday School
It may surprise you to know that the SS is relatively new. It had it’s beginning in England around 1780 and moved to America around 1800. At first churches rejected the SS because it emphasized “lay” leadership and teachers. Many ministers rejected it because they believed that only “trained theologians” should teach.
Therefore the SS started outside the church in Sunday School Unions that met each week and developed teaching materials. Eventually the SS became popular and was adopted by most protestant denominations. Over the years it has been refined and developed.
Baptists and particularly Southern Baptists have been at the forefront of the SS movement. Between 1920 and 1960 the SS was responsible more than anything else for the growth of Southern Baptist Churches.
II. Why Sunday School
If I were to ask this morning for the purpose of SS, most would reply with one thing. – Teaching the Bible.
That is 25% correct. Sunday School has four purposes.
Reaching – Teaching – Caring – Evangelizing
If you were the new CEO of a company that was declining, what would you do? Where would you begin?
You would begin by evaluating the area of that company that makes everything move in a positive or negative direction.
God has called me to lead this church as Pastor – Teacher – Equipper – and Coach. I vbelieve that the one ministry of our church that can make us or break us is the SS.
People say – ‘Sunday School is for Kids” But it’s not just for kids.
Churches and denominations today are in a time of change.
Many churches have abandoned the Sunday School. WHY?
1. BUILDING COSTS – half of facility is for SS.
2. LACK OF TEACHERS
3. LONGER WORSHIP SERVICES – two hours long – hour of singing – hour of preaching
Churches have developed Small Group or Cell ministries that meet weekly in peoples homes. These are effective but they fail in at least one or more in the fundamental principles of SS.
SUNDAY SCHOOL is for:
AND it’s for all age groups. It takes several ministries to accomplish what the SS can do.
1. THE SUNDAY SCHOOL IS THE REACHING ARM OF THE CHURCH
a) It reaches people that have dropped out.
b) It reaches people with no church background.
Note the principles of Outreach and Inreach.
a) Sunday School is Age Graded – WHY? So people can reach their peers.
b) Sunday School functions 52 weeks a year.
c) Sunday School reaches people no matter what their Religious background.
To be a member of Ladson Baptist you need to be saved and baptized.
To be a member of a SS class – Anyone - The only requirement is that they must be breathing. We even have members of our SS classes who have never been to our church. We meet prospects and enroll them in the class before the have ever attended a service. Its reaching people
Reaching people means dividing classes and starting new classes. A class needs to be divided when the age group is too great or the class becomes too large.
U Haul truck leaving town. Pastor who tried to divide a SS class.
2. THE SUNDAY SCHOOL IS THE TEACHING ARM OF THE CHURCH.
Bible based – Transforming lives
Open ended Bible lessons – New people should be able to come in at any time.
3. THE SUNDAY SCHOOL IS THE CARING ARM OF THE CHURCH.
Assimilation – gets people involved
It’s the small group ministry of the church.
Illustration – Of my Brother in law.
He is a member of a large church. Several thousand attend every week. Doesn’t know everybody.
Sunday School is where his friends are. He doesn’t know everybody in the church but he knows his SS class.
4. THE SUNDAY SCHOOL IS THE EVANGELIZING ARM OF THE CHURCH
Relationship evangelism. Not every person is saved the first time the hear the gospel. Many are saved after weeks or months of hearing the gospel.
Sunday school is Child evangelism