Conventional Thinking: Back to (Sunday) School
In the pages of the Baptist Messenger, you have been hearing about the new ReConnect Sunday School initiative, which equips church leaders and laymen to have even more effective small group ministries in their local church.
The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), since its very beginning, always has recognized and harnessed the power of Sunday School ministry. Yet this effort brings a leading-edge emphasis that, Lord willing, changes the entire spiritual landscape of the entire state.
ReConnect, which was born out of the heart of key leaders in Oklahoma Baptist life, is an effort that will operate effectively on many levels. The BGCO will offer churches and associations first-class resources that are high-tech, such as a new website at which Sunday School teachers and leaders can get effective training over video and receive Sunday school certification through the BGCO. (Visit www.bgco.org for more.)
ReConnect also will give birth to good-old techniques, including clinics and in-person training and resources. At the heart of ReConnect is the central idea that “Sunday School is the church’s primary strategy to connect people with Jesus, His Truth, His Community, and His Mission.”
ReConnect envisions thriving small groups at churches of every size and geographical location. Longtime Messengerreaders remember well checking Sunday School attendance reports each week as a way to measure ministry success.
While there are not necessarily immediate plans to bring the exact same attendance report again to the pages of theMessenger, readers can expect to read so much about Sunday School—such as news of churches pledging to start new groups and personal stories of people coming to the Lord through small group ministry—they may think it is the 1980s again.
During football season, fans watch their team’s offense with great intensity. Any football coach will tell you that a good offense cannot be one dimensional. If a team only passes the ball, the opposing defense will be able to stop its attack. A good ground game is vital for winning football. The same can be said about ministry.
Sunday School is the “ground game” for the local church, in which people receive and give ministry—life-on-life. In the context of small groups, there is learning, accountability and vitality. These are the very elements we saw in the New Testament early Church, which “daily added to their numbers those being saved (Acts 2:47).”
If your church has not yet joined the ReConnect small-groups movement, there is still time. Contact the BGCO’s Bob Mayfield (405/942-3800 x4656) or visit www.bgco.org/Reconnect.
The spiritual landscape of Oklahoma is at a crossroads. Generations after us will look back at this moment as a pivot point. The question is will they say that Oklahoma Baptists succumbed to a depraved and secular culture, or will the generations say the churches rolled up their sleeves and did the hard work of building strong, striving churches through flourishing small groups? By God’s grace, they will say the latter… and rejoice!