Perspective: Going ‘small’
Like many other Oklahomans, I am a Thunder fan! Until the Thunder came to town, you could not convince me to watch an NBA game. Now I am a big-time fan.
My basketball IQ has increased also. For example, there are times when Coach Brooks “goes small” with his lineup. He does so to make the team more agile, aggressive, and faster. The smaller lineup often runs circles around bigger and slower teams. This strategy can be very effective.
We live in a day of the big lineup in church life. Even in smaller churches, we often place more emphasis on the big worship experience. Many will come and sit in a big group and then go home with no connection with others; they just fulfill their “spiritual duty” and go home. In fact, a person can attend worship for many weeks, even months, and make no meaningful connection with others. Sadly, a person can attend the big group experience and fade away without ever being noticed.
I want to challenge the church to go “small.” Yes, I am challenging us to think small. There is no better way to connect with people in a meaningful Christian relationship than in a small group. A small group provides caring relationships, meaningful interaction around the truth of Scripture, and the opportunity to “do” life together. Most of us call these small groups Sunday School. It really doesn’t matter whether you call them life groups, flocks, or Sunday School—the principle is the same. Small rules! Small groups build the church.
ReConnect is a strategy to reenergize the small group ministry of the church. We have tried every other method of church growth and still come up short. It is time to return to a proven strategy to connect people to Jesus, His Word, His community, and His mission. This strategy is called Sunday School.
Some argue that Sunday School doesn’t work anymore. I argue Sunday School works when we work it. In the New Testament, the disciples met in small groups to study the Word, pray, encourage and challenge one another. Sunday School makes the church small. It moves us from impersonal church attendance to meaningful engagement with others, our Lord, and His Word.
Small groups grow the church and the people. There is a rule of thumb. Start a small group, and you will grow by 10 people. What church wouldn’t want to reach 10 more people for Christ? In addition, through small group Bible study and interactive relationships, the people themselves grow spiritually.
So, I would suggest the time has come to “go small.” It is time to build a healthy and growing Sunday School. In doing so, we will expand our ability to grow, serve and most of all, reach people with the Gospel of Christ. Make Sunday School work—work Sunday School.