Monday, August 18, 2008

Bruce Raley Reflects On The Missional Sunday School

I mentioned Bruce Raley from LifeWay in my last blog post. He has begun a new series of articles about the Missional Sunday School. They should be excellent reading and very much worth following, so I will track them here with you. Here is his first article.

Bruce Raley Reflects on the Missional Sunday School
Written by Bruce Raley

A Missional Sunday School is a reproducing community of authentic disciples being equipped as missionaries sent by God to live and proclaim His Word in their world.

Missional Sunday School was the topic of discussion for pastors and ministers of education at the Sunday School training events at Ridgecrest and Glorieta this summer. The topic was new to many of the learners. Why did Ed Stetzer and I choose to teach and train on this particular subject?

Churches have transitioned through various stages over the past 50 years. From the 50’s through the early 80’s, most churches looked pretty much the same. It was the era of the Five Star Church. That is, churches worked to establish and excel in five ministry areas: Sunday School, discipleship (Church Training), WMU, Brotherhood and music ministry.

The Five Star Church era began to fade when seeker and contemporary churches began to “do church differently.” During that twenty year era, churches and church leaders often mimicked those who perceived to have achieved some form of success. Numerous books and conferences were available to illustrate how leading churches accomplished their feats. However, many who tried to copy other churches realized another’s methodology will not work in other locations and ministries.

Over the past few years, another church era has seemed to emerge. This new direction seems to be healthy and productive for churches. Church leaders have realized another’s ministry cannot be duplicated. Nor will all the strategies of the past succeed. Therefore, each church must determine for itself the direction, purpose, and will God has for that individual church.

This is also true for the Sunday School. While every Sunday School should always hold to some uncompromising principles, the methodologies for accomplishing the goals, purposes and principles can, do, and in fact must change.

Read the rest of the article here.

Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!