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Tony Brooks: 4 Ways to Deal with Uncharted Territory in Sunday School & Small Groups

Posted: 7/11/17 at 11:55am. Post by Tony Brooks.

I have been reading Tod Bolsinger’s book, Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Unchartered Territory. On Page 14, he writes, “Understanding unchartered territory: The world in front of you is nothing like the world behind you.”

Our world is constantly changing. The Gospel hasn’t, but the way we share it has. Here are some things to consider:

Prepare Sunday School/Small Groups on the go! Don’t just expect or try to guilt people into coming on Sunday morning for Bible study. Do you realize 40 percent of the adult population has to work on Sunday mornings? Others are dealing with travel sports teams or have a second home on the beach in the summer. What do you do?

  • Have small group Bible studies at other times and places based on their schedule.
  • Commission parents of travel sports teams to lead a Bible study. Provide help and curriculum based on the sport. There are lots of good books to help with this one.
  • If there are some who spend the winter in Florida or summer at the beach, provide an opportunity to use technology to stream in Sunday school/small group Bible study.

Community and Care are essential! As my good friend Bo Prosser would say, “People go where they know they have been prepared for and cared for.” Every generation wants to feel they belong. Albert Winseman in Growing an Engaged Church will let you know that this is one of four principles for active engagement. Set up care groups for classes to help make sure everyone feels cared for. (E-mail me at tony.brooks@bgav.org for organizational ways and suggested methods for care group leaders to contact members.)

Develop a Missionary Mentality. Sunday School was always meant to be an outreach endeavor. Have classes pray each week about the unchurched they can build a relationship with. Have a prospect folder for members to pray over and contact. (E-mail me about a form for prospects at tony.brooks@bgav.org.)

Allow the Spirit to Guide you. Too often we think if we just work hard enough, we can do it ourselves. (I would recommend Joan S. Gray’s book, Sailboat Church: Helping your Church Rethink Its Mission and Practice, to help you think through this one.) Essentially, we are in a culture like the New Testament church and need to pray and seek God as we discover new ways to have small group Bible study.

Brooks-TonyTony Brooks is our Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist and Field Strategist for the Southside Region. You may email him at tony.brooks@bgav.org.Follow Tony on Twitter: @TonyBrooks7 
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