***Creating a Transformational Sunday School is a series developed by one of our Featured Contributors, Joshua Schmidt***
Creating a Transformational Sunday School
I heard a story recently about a lady who visited a church that had a pretty large young adult Sunday school class.
She went to this class and was excited to see so many people there. This particular Sunday the class was talking about marriage.
She was handed a printed out paper from the teacher that had a few tidbits about marriage. The teacher began lecturing and in minutes was derailed by conversation among the students. She said that not one time during the course of the class was the Bible mentioned. Never was there a mention of God’s picture of marriage. Not once did someone even mention a single scripture, although there are scores within the Bible about marriage.
Sadly, I think that the same could be said about many of our classrooms.
Our last entry looked at the importance of a transformational Sunday school. This week, we are looking at the importance of a Gospel-centered message.
Jesus declared himself the “way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
This means that there is one truth and one truth only.
We have been given this radical truth from Heaven in the form of the Holy Bible.
There is nothing like it; nothing that can even compare to it.
We have the living, breathing, inspired, inerrant Word of God.
Why would we not center every aspect of our lives around it?
The Gospel message of Christ has turned our world upside down. Maybe it’s time we let it turn our Sunday school departments upside down as well.
Considering the importance of a Gospel-centered message, here are some tips for getting the most out of your short period in class.
- Make your lesson relevant, but not at the expense of scripture.
Our natural inclination is to make our lessons as interesting and relevant as possible but we must not do so at the expense of a Bible-rich message.
The fact of the matter is there isn’t anything more interesting in the world than the Bible.
It’s the best-selling book of all time for a reason! We have a tendency to try to “juice” Bible stories up a little bit but most times we are adding nothing but fluff.
- Encourage your teachers to be students of the Word.
One of the most important decisions you can make as a Sunday school director is putting teachers in classrooms who love to study and teach the Bible.
The problem is that these people are sometimes hard to find! Don’t settle. I’d rather have 7 great teachers than 70 lazy teachers.
If we are cutting ourselves off from scripture, we are cutting ourselves off from the lifeline from God.
If our teachers aren’t growing in the Word, they won’t be growing our classrooms.
- Find excellent, Gospel-centered material and stick with it.
There are numerous Sunday school programs and ideas out there today.
We really are in a golden age of scripture-rich lessons.
First Baptist Church of Grayson, Kentucky – the church where I serve – uses The Gospel Project and Bible Studies for Life; both produced by Lifeway. These are excellent, rich, impactful studies that any student would love. I would encourage you to find something that you like and stick with it!
I have been in Sunday school departments before where the director would switch material every quarter because they never could find something they liked. This doesn’t allow you to build any sort of continuity or momentum.
These are just a few of many things that you can do to re-focus your Sunday school department back on the transformational truth of the Holy Bible.
There is no better gauge to your church health than your Sunday school classrooms and there is no better gauge to the health of your classrooms than their focus.
It is up to us as leaders to prioritize scripture and to move forward with the full confidence of God’s Word!