The basic concept of the Sunday School is to provide an organization to carry out some
fundamental ministry tasks on behalf of the church. These include Bible study, ministry,
outreach, and fellowship, all of which can be accomplished more effectively and more
personally in a small-group setting, rather than in the larger congregation. Our Sunday
School is organized to meet life needs of all age groups, babies through senior adults, in
settings and using learning methods appropriate for each developmental level.
The most obvious point is that Bible study is central to the growth of an individual
Christian. We take the Biblical revelation as inspired and normative, so that our approach
is not to argue over relevancy or implications--we assume the truth of the Bible and head
for the application to current living.
While personal, private Bible study is invaluable for Christian growth, participation
in a group which studies the Scriptures in a systematic way, with learning guided by
trained teachers, in a small group setting which can serve as a support and accountability
group is what Sunday School is all about.
Sunday School is a lay movement, with volunteer workers serving in every area of the
organization. Funding comes from the unified church budget, subscribed by tithes and
offerings of the church members. The church is responsible for enlisting, training, and
encouraging the faculty, and for providing the curriculum materials, supplies, and
adequate space and learning environment for each class.
The organization of the Sunday School provides an assigned class for every individual.
This same organization provides an ideal foundation for reaching prospective members for
the Sunday School and for the church. A class provided with a list of prospects can put
its Christian teaching into practical application as they pray for, contact, minister to,
and visit the prospects with a view toward enlisting their participation in and eventually
becoming a part of the class.
The objectives of the Sunday School must be derived from the objectives of the church.
In my view, these are clearly defined by the Great Commission: "Go ye therefore and
teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy
Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." (Matthew
28:19-20). This passage is summarizes the New Testament teachings of the purpose of the
The Sunday School is the entire body of the church, including members, non-members,
children, and adults, administratively organized with definite responsibilities for
teaching, outreach, ministry, and fellowship. Thus the Sunday School is simply the church
organized to carry out the Great Commission.
As such, the Sunday School is directly responsible to the church (by whatever polity
the church operates) to accomplish these goals. At the highest level, the objectives are:
|"teach all nations"
||outreach and education
||outreach and evangelism
|"teach them to observe"
||education and application
From another perspective, the objectives of the Sunday School are to provide a
comprehensive organization with assigned responsibility to reach all prospects for the
church; engage members in regular, meaningful, relevant Bible study; equip the
organization with resources and leadership for effective ministry, and lead members to
salvation and development in their Christian life.