>> by Tim Gentry, BGCO Evangelism Specialist
Oklahoma Baptist’s new ReConnect Sunday School initiative moves Sunday School from the classroom to the living room. This transformation can happen in your church house and possibly in every house in your community.
Sunday School is most effective when people discover a personal relationship with God and with each other. The group needs to feel like a living room and not a classroom. ReConnect Sunday School is not a program. It is not just structure with a teacher giving a lecture about facts and figures. ReConnect Sunday School is alive! It is relational with people loving each other and meeting needs. It is a group clearly applying the Word of God to their lives. ReConnect Sunday School is incarnational as opposed to superficial. ReConnect Sunday School is intentional as opposed to accidental.
God created people to be relational. He created people to relate to Him through His precious Son, Jesus Christ, and to relate to each other through community. A key ingredient to Church is body life, the need to worship together, hold one another accountable and to minister to each other and the world.
There is a difference between a house and a home. From the recent tornados that destroyed so many residences, you heard repeatedly about people losing more than a house, but a home. Memories, keepsakes and sometimes even a loved one were lost.
What is your idea of Sunday School? Is your Sunday School class more like a house or a home? And even though the class needs to feel like a living room, there is another view of this analogy. Consider two houses, the church house and the residential house. Do you expect the people in the residential house to cross the street and attend your church house? Or are you ready to do whatever it takes to reach people and to cross the street to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others?
ReConnecting people with Jesus and the truth is more than a classroom activity. Connecting with people goes beyond the Sunday morning class or even the weeknight small group. The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s evangelism group supports ReConnect Sunday School with motivation and training for sharing your faith through MY316, CROSS and Listening Evangelism resources. You can use these resources in the Sunday School class or another designated equipping time, possibly on Saturday mornings or Sunday evenings.
Consider these best practices for evangelism in Sunday School:
- Develop a prayer list of lost friends, family and associates.
- Have class fellowships that focus on inviting lost people to participate.
- Schedule regular visitation by phone, email, text and personal visits.
- Identify parents and siblings from children and students who attend church activities.
- Contact parents and siblings to discover their spiritual condition and invite them to upcoming church events.
- Plan Day of Service and Season of Service activities through the SERVE Oklahoma emphasis.
- Review the class roll and contact people who have not attended recently.
What would it take to transform your class from a house to a home, a home for every person in your community and not just for a few of your best friends? As great as your symbolic living room may be, it is time to go outside the church house to the houses in your community. Believe this; you will not be dragging Jesus across the street. He is already out the door looking back to you to see if you are following.