Social scientists have studied the different generation groups—such as the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials—and assigned characteristics commonly found in each.
The most often thing said about Millennials is that they are relationship driven and want to make a positive difference in the world. However, the same thing could be said about every age-stage (with perhaps the possible exception of children in their terrible two’s).
There is one ministry within our churches that provides just the right avenue for these two longings to take shape and flower.
I’m talking about Sunday School. Your church may call it something else, such as “small groups” or “flocks,” but the fundamental make-up is the same. It is a small group of believers under the umbrella of the local church who intentionally unite regularly for Bible study, fellowship and ministry.
There is no shortage of places people look to for relationships these days. The glut of Internet dating websites alone attests to the deep longings of mankind to find true love. The dominance of Facebook also speaks to a desire for relationships, often luring people into thinking they have more true friends than they might.
Each of these trends suggest that people will do almost anything to find relationships and friendships. It is one of the jobs of the Church to provide the best avenue for the best kind of relationships they can find. In Sunday School, Christians are able to connect with fellow believers in a deeper, more ongoing way than they could online or even at a once-a-week worship service.
Moreover, these small groups provide the type of accountability and help people need during the hard times and that cannot be found easily elsewhere. It would not take long to find stories of people whose Sunday School class brought them meals, prayed for them and helped in other tangible ways.
In these actions—which are completely unique when compared to other kinds of groups and relationships, you will find, in that they are Christ-driven—we fulfill the Second Commandment of Christ to “love our neighbors” as ourselves (Matt. 22:39).
Our Christian love, though, projects beyond the walls of our church. One of the easiest ways to make an impact in your community is to organize your Sunday School for action. Together, you can provide babysitting for a single mother, volunteer to feed the poor, pool your money to donate to someone in need; the list goes on. And when we give a cup of cold water in His Name (Matt. 10:42), we give an attractive testimony to the world around us about what kind of people Christians really are.
Some denominations and churches have moved away from Sunday School at precisely the wrong time. Among Oklahoma Baptists, we are moving back toward this time-honored tool for ministry. Through the ReConnect Sunday School initiative, your church leaders and members have the tools and materials needed to revitalize this indispensable ministry, such as first-class video training online (www.ReConnectSS.com).
ReConnect also provides for in-person training and resources. Watch for upcoming ReConnect clinics coming to your area of the state soon.
Together through Sunday School, we can reconnect people to Jesus, His Truth, Community and Mission. Together, we can have great relationships and change the world.
P.S. I want to say a special word of thanks to my Sunday School class, who has helped our family greatly during a time of need. Thanks y’all!