Recently, I had the privilege of meeting with our Connection Group leaders here at Lancaster Baptist Church. Over the years, we’ve called our Connection Groups by various names—Sunday school and Adult Bible Fellowships are two—but whatever they are called, they are a vital part of our church ministry.
Most people are somehow under the impression that special days in a church just happen and that the preparation comes together on its own. Having a special day of any kind takes hard work and much preparation if it is to be effective.
One of the key factors for a growing church is strong leadership in small groups ministry. Over the past eighteen months, we have placed a massive emphasis on small groups in our church and we have seen the blessings result.
Adult Bible Classes Help the Church Accomplish the Great Commission
I believe the key reason for adult Bible classes in the local church is the organization to fulfill the purposes of the church. Dr. Lee Roberson used to say, “The Sunday school is the church organized to fulfill the purpose of the church.”
One of the central components of a strong, growing church is a solid adult Bible class program. Regardless of the age or life stage of the adults in your church, they desire and need to be included and accepted.
What Are You Doing to Invest in the Next Generation?
Sunday school lesson: This is an abbreviated outline with the complete lesson downloadable at the bottom of the post. Introduction: I’m sure we are all thankful for the “Great Generation” (WWII). It is a sobering thought to ponder that the generation that fought and sacrificed to maintain our American freedoms and build much of what we enjoy in America today is almost gone.
The Difference between Teaching Efficiently and Effectively
Oftentimes Sunday school teachers are very excited because they feel that they are doing their job (ministry) with great efficiency. But it has been rightfully said that efficiency is doing things right, but effectiveness is doing the right things. It is my hope that these principles will help us be more effective as Sunday school teachers.
Our adult Bible fellowships are organized into care groups that consist of five to seven family units (you can learn more about the care groups here). Our church recently had a care group fellowship night, and God used it in a mighty way. The event consists of every care group from every adult Bible fellowship gathering in the home of the care group leader.
For many years, most fundamental churches followed the pattern of having one large adult class taught by the pastor in the auditorium. Such great churches as Akron Baptist Temple, pastored by Dallas Billington, popularized this approach. Recently, the trend has been to offer multiple adult classes.
Anytime there is a surge of new Christians it is a great time to put renewed effort into the health of the Sunday school department. Every new Christian needs loving growth and discipleship, and the best way to insure this is happening is to encourage the health of the Sunday school.
The Priority and Purposes for Spending Time with Believers
In Paul’s letters, he was conscious to list believers in the churches whose fellowship he valued, like Onesiphorus, who is said to have “oft refreshed” the Apostle. A quick survey of this topic in the New Testament demonstrates that real fellowship accomplishes the following:
The people of Israel were told by the prophet Isaiah, “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes” (Isaiah 54:2). He encouraged them to prepare for, expect, and make room for the fruitfulness that God would bring.
If you are an adult Bible class leader, you are probably good at serving people. You are willing and able to help people grow in their Christian walk. You have already accepted this as your responsibility and privilege. But is your class also serving?