Skip to main content

The Balance of Intentionality in Sunday School

The Balance of Intentionality in Sunday School (Small Groups) 
 This is a radical statement: Sunday school is not just about teaching (hear me out before I'm deemed a heretic). I know this is a break from the traditional view of the small group purpose. So if it's not just about teaching then what is involved in Sunday school? The illustration can be used of a four legged stool (some have used only three). Anyone can tell when one leg may be longer or shorter than the others. Just as with there being an unbalance in the legs of a stool, so also can there be an unbalance in our Sunday school when one leg is emphasized over the other. What is the benefit of having a balance in Sunday school? Think about what usually happens when a teacher steps away from teaching that is heavily focused on teaching only in the group. There is a scramble that occurs, someone may feel pressured to step into a position where they are not called and then everyone in the class complains because the teaching is "not the same." Instead of being reactive in this process, by having a balance this gives you a proactive approach. Let's discuss though what areas are generally needed to maintain balance. 
 1. Teaching. Teaching is a foundational principle of Sunday school or small groups. Yet it is not the only work. Teaching must be intentional to not be the main focus of the group and in a traditional setting this is hard to do. While it must be dynamic in its preparation and presentation, it must encourage further maturing and discipleship. This means that it should lead to the exercise of the other four legs to be used in a small group setting. Yes, God's Word will not return void, also though it must be applied and practiced. 
 2. Reaching. The next leg on the stool would be that of outreach. Sunday school has shown statistically to be the most effective place for outreach. More prospects for church stick to a church most effectively when they are connected to small groups. The question comes then: are Sunday school groups intentionally being challenged to weigh evangelism in the same light as teaching? Is there as much dynamic preparation and presentation occurring in your church's small group setting as there are for other areas. It's not meant to be the last resort, it is intentional to keep a balance. 
 3. Ministry. This is ministry that happens both within and outside the group. This involves not only taking prayer requests at the beginning but connecting to needs. It may be a meal being provided to a hurting member. Ministry may also present itself as a group project for the community. A trap that we can fall into is thinking that this dynamic preparation is only for Sunday mornings. The ministry focus though shatters this and shows us how the small group is to minister and multiply outside the walls of the room where they meet. The issue of intentionality must be emphasized to keep the balance again. 
 4. Fellowship. The final leg that gives balance to groups is being intentional in fellowship. A constant complaint is hearing members of groups that say "our group doesn't do anything together." This attitude comes from people seeing their need to not just belong but to desire to spend time together. Please understand that this is not meant to be a promotion of a "fellowship program." Fellowship should occur naturally and yet the connections in small groups will strengthen when it is structured through small groups. 
 Keeping a balance is hard but if given intentionality, a group will experience a healthy growth structure.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Discipleship Triangle: Up-In-Out- Super Summer edition

I Corinthians 4:16-17  Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. For this reason, I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. From Paul's words, we can see the encouragement (imperative) is to be an imitator. For this week at Super Summer in the discipleship sessions, we discussed what it means to be an imitator of Jesus Christ.  To be imitators of Jesus Christ is to be rooted in Christ as we recognize the authority and lordship of Jesus in our lives! What He says (His Word), we are to do! Simple enough right? Yet this is the very thing that we struggle with, just as in a game of Simon Says, we can miss it if we aren't listening. So the focus this week is to stop in the busyness of our lives and spend time listening to God and then to see how this carries forward to everyday. The example that we use is the Discipleship triangle called Up-I

The Stages of a Group: How to build group cohesion

The Stages of a Group: How to build group cohesion How many of us when we start to meet with a group of people, we experience either a great connection or a flop? Often, we begin to look at ourselves and wonder what if this was really what we were supposed to do. Don’t worry, don’t get stressed. What we have found is that groups experience a natural outworking of how much they desire to stick together. The term is called group cohesion, which is basically how sticky they are. Larry Osborne has a book called “Sticky Church” and the process that Osborne promotes the most as to how sticky a church will be is through their small groups. Osborne says, “Anytime a group of friends commit to gather together to share their lives, pray, and discuss the biblical text and life application…good stuff happens.” The gathering together is how a group becomes cohesive with one another. What is interesting though is that this just doesn’t automatically happen. There are times

The Protectors: Power On- new book release

Hey everyone, Just wanted to share some details about my recent book release. Hope that you enjoy! New Book Release from C Joseph Brasher titled The Protectors: Power On, see how a preteen boy navigates AI technology and learns where true protection comes from #protectors #power #christianfiction via ripl.com The Protectors: Power On Paperback- $9.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1676304185/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_CxG-Db35GCJ5B Kindle- $4.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082VHH584/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_hHG-Db2SVGESM Follow my author page on Amazon for more information! https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B082XCDRL7