Posted: 12/23/19 at 8:30pm. Post by Tony Brooks.
Note to reader: This blog post is the thirteenth and final column in a weekly series and contains excerpts from Ken Braddy’s book, Breathing Life into Sunday School.
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Mathew 22:37-40 NIV)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)
Though Ken Braddy may have some of the same points in this chapter, I have been saying for years that you start with, “Why?” Feel free to buy his book to learn more. Many churches have lost their “why” for Sunday School and discipleship. Here is what you should know:
Loving God with all your mind means actively studying God’s word. Being in an ongoing Bible study needs to be a priority. Pastors, preach it from the pulpit that every follower of Christ who loves God with all their mind needs to be in an ongoing Bible study! You do a great job in helping them grow. A small group Bible study helps them ask questions about life application to scripture. You also should preach that they should reach someone else.
Loving your neighbor as yourself pulls them away from a focus on themselves. Each class or small group requires care for each other. We live in a “me” society! Unless we are willing to be vulnerable, we have failed to really connect as Christ did! (Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for care group ideas and more.)
Making disciples and baptizing means we are serious about reaching lost people. Sunday School from its inception was about reaching people who did not know Christ while discipling those who did. Having everyone with a mindset of reaching new people and starting new classes is essential!
What is your philosophy of Sunday School/small groups?