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The “Why” of Sunday School/Small Groups

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Posted: 10/4/16 at 8:30am. Post by Tony Brooks.

For several years now, I have been sharing about Simon Sinek’s video and book Start with Why with anyone who would listen. (If you search on the internet, you will discover his short video on Youtube and Ted Talks.)

Simon suggests that people buy into the “why” better than the “what.” I would agree! He uses what he calls the Golden Circles, with the “What” being the outer circle, the “How” being the next circle and the “Why” being the inner circle. I want to demonstrate the future of Sunday School by using the golden circles.

I often ask in training sessions:

What is Sunday School? Typically the answers are: Studying God’s Word/Bible study, fellowship and prayer.

How do you do Sunday School? It happens on Sunday mornings 9:30 a.m. or 9:45 a.m. in a classroom (usually by lecture method- the worst way to learn!)

Finally I ask, “What is your “why” behind Sunday School?” I help them out at this point and mention two Scriptures:

Interior Motivation: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV)

Every follower of Christ needs to love God with their mind. This means every follower needs to be in a small group Bible study! We also learn how to love our neighbor as ourselves. This cannot happen with attending worship alone!

Exterior Motivation:  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 28:18-20)

With the “why” suddenly the “what” changes and includes all followers of Christ should be in a small group Bible study to love God with all your mind.

We should minister to each other. It is more than fellowship, and requires us to be vulnerable.

Outreach, evangelism and discipleship must be at the forefront of what we do! Most forget that Sunday School was started in the U.S. to reach the unchurched for Christ, and disciple them! I would have a commissioning prayer for your teachers as missionaries and disciple makers every year in worship.

The “how” changes as well! When you consider the Great Commandment and Great Commission, we realize that small group Bible studies can happen any day of the week and any place! (Some of the most effective happen outside the church walls!)

Are you looking at the “why” of Sunday School?

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