The one thing missing in Sunday School today

I’d like to welcome aboard a group of teacher-leaders from FBC Pompano Beach, Florida! I provided a Saturday morning of training this past weekend, teaching through a book that David Francis and I co-authored, 3 Roles for Guiding Groups. I’m glad those wonderful teachers have decided to begin receiving blog posts! A special thanks goes out to Ramona Orlandi for being a great hostess! Ramona,  you’re doing a great job leading your church’s education ministry!

Today’s blog post, like those on Mondays, is taken from a book on Bible teaching or church leadership. Today I’ve chosen to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Allan Taylor. Allan is very passionate about Sunday School, and has the following to say in his book, Sunday School in HD, about the need to keep evangelism and Sunday School connected in our church’s Bible study groups:

Today it takes forty-seven Southern Baptists to win one person to faith in Christ in a year. The number of Southern Baptists needed to win one person to Christ in 1954 was sixteen. What’s the difference? There are contributing factors, but it cannot go unnoticed that we have removed evangelism from Sunday School. Sunday School is now relegated to accomplish two things: Bible study and fellowship. Both of them are certainly worthy to be pursued by every Sunday School class. Who would not want to attend a class that did not practice these two valuable endeavors? However, these two, standing alone, represent a shortsighted vision for Sunday School. Many Sunday Schools are no longer promoting or actively pursuing the Great Commission. Our Sunday Schools are imploding because we have removed evangelism from her to-do list. A Sunday School cannot expect to explode with growth if she is not purposefully implementing the Great Commission into her DNA. Sunday School is the outreach arm of the church so we must keep evangelism in Sunday School. It is time we put evangelism back on the big high-definition screen of Sunday School because nothing will infuse your Sunday School with energy like seeing people saved!

As Allan points out, it is very important to keep evangelism at the forefront of our work in our groups ministries. It makes absolute sense that the largest ministry in our churches is charged with the task of reaching people with the gospel.

How many ways can you think of to lift up the importance of evangelism in your group? In your church’s Bible teaching ministry?

Here are a few thoughts to jumpstart your thinking:

  • Choose a Bible study curriculum that has Christ-centered lessons (LifeWay’s Gospel Project does this).
  • Select a Bible study curriculum that has a plan of salvation clearly printed in the Personal Study Guide and Leader Guide (LifeWay’s ongoing studies do this on the inside cover of each 13-week series)
  • Teach your group a simple gospel presentation (I’ve taught mine the “one verse evangelism” strategy)
  • Pray for lost persons weekly as a group
  • Write the names of people for whom you’re praying on a focal wall in your classroom
  • Commit to share the gospel yourself, and take someone from the group with you when you know you’re going to ask a person to make Christ their Lord and Savior

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