This is part 14 of a series of posts from David Francis’ Transformational Class: Transformational Church Goes to Sunday School . Click here for a free download of the book, as well as training materials to help you present the material to your leaders.
- Transformational Church Goes to Sunday School
- Missionary Mentality, Part One
- Missionary Mentality, Part Two
- Vibrant Leadership
- Two Key Principles: Open Groups Practicing Open Enrollment
- Relational Intentionality
- How Care Group Leaders Model Relational Intentionality
- The Absolute Necessity of Prayer Before, During, And After Small Group
- Prayer Requests: The Best Indicator of a Transformational Class
- How does Worship Impact a Transformational Small Group?
- Which Comes First: Conversion or Community?
- Community: Connecting People With People
This excerpt is adapted from Chapter 7, “Mission,” page 37.
Asking the Wrong Question?
Perhaps we’re asking the wrong question: “What can we do to get more people to join our church or class?” Perhaps a better question would be “What can our church or class do to make our community a better place to live?”A creative, missional response to that question will provide your class members with a lot of “salty” stories!
Stories from Cornerstone Church
Greg Brewer is the Christian Education Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Madison, Tennessee. They operate an excellent Sunday School program. Last year, Brewer challenged every adult class to find a need in the community and plan a ministry project to address it. And the classes responded!
- One adopted a fire hall.
- Three adopted different elementary schools, each with different needs.
- One furnished the room of a young immigrant who was sleeping on his floor.
- Another class adopted the maternity ward at Nashville’s Metro General Hospital.
- Two gave away free gas, washing the windshields of the folks who took advantage of the offer.
- Another replaced the leaky bathroom of a senior saint.
- Two classes went together to tackle an external makeover of an old house.
- Still another cleaned and planted flowers at a neglected neighborhood park.
My favorite was the class led by teachers Henry and Pat White. Their class adopted an assisted living facility, purchasing a flat screen TV and a Wii® console. Greg sent me photos of the senior adult residents enjoying a Wii® bowling tournament. As you can imagine, the ministry at the nursing home continues, with the gift of time and fun paving the way for holy conversations.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus challenged His disciples to spread the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the remotest parts of the world. A class can “go” to a remote part of the earth in their minds and hearts by adopting an Unreached People Group. A class might literally take a prayer walk in a local neighborhood or virtually take one in an international location. It might volunteer to serve Thanksgiving dinner at a rescue mission together. Or provide the support for a student mission trip to Chicago. Or send a group from the class on a construction trip to Brazil. Or a sports camp in Africa. Or…. well, YOU fill in the rest!
What Stories do You Have?
If you have a story, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org—preferably with a photo attached. I hope to be able to post them online as a source of encouragement and ideas for other Sunday School classes that want to become missional small communities!
David Francis is Director of Sunday School at LifeWay Christian Resources. Before joining LifeWay in 1997, he served as minister of education at First Baptist Church in Garland, Texas. David and his wife, Vickie, love teaching preschool Sunday School and are helping start a new adult class in their church in Hendersonville, Tennessee.