In a day and age in which many churches are decreasing services and cancelling Sunday school, Allan Taylor’s book Sunday School in HD is energy boost to the small group ministry.
My personal experience with Sunday school began at the Mansfield Baptist Temple. Each Sunday my family would attend an age-appropriate class where we were taught a Bible lesson and through which we were discipled and evangelised. After moving to the United Kingdom, I learned that Sunday schools historically took place in the afternoon and were primarily evangelistic.
At Downham Baptist Church, when we started the church, we debated whether to have a Sunday school/small group hour. We decided to have one before the morning service, and to this point it has proven to be one of our most interactive and exciting ministries.
Thought I have not read many books on Sunday school and small group ministry, this book came highly recommended, and I enjoyed it for the following reasons:
The passion of the book. Allen is certainly passionate about the Sunday school ministry, and I am sure that enthusiasm filters down to a very effective ministry.
The focus of the book. So often we see small group and Sunday school ministry as only for Bible teaching and discipleship, but Allen lifts our vision to see the SS ministry as an opportunity to evangelism and carry out the great commission in and through every class.
The practical ideas of the book. The book gives some good practical suggestions for how to organise the class, train other leaders through the class, and what kind of person makes a good Sunday school/small group leader.
The Biblical focus of the book. Each major point of the book is built on Biblical principles and developed with Biblical examples and Scripture passages. This gives much more weight and authority to the points made.
I really challenge all church leaders to rethink how they use Sunday school and small groups to grow disciples, train leaders, and reach new people. There is no greater tool in most churches do all of those things.
In conclusion, here are a few quotations from the book that I hope wet your appetite:
It amazes me to think that we can have a church actively pursuing the Great Commission when the largest ministry in the church is not!
I have found that if a church has a passion for lost souls, then most any evangelism method will work. The opposite is also true; if a church does not have a passion for lost souls, then it does not matter what evangelism method is used because it will not work!
Individual Sunday School classes form a natural connection for the church’s outreach strategy and assimilation strategy.
Sunday School is the assimilation arm of the church so she should also be the outreach arm of the church. The way you reach them is the way you keep them.
It is imperative that we understand that growth is an attitude, not a method, skill, or technique. If a church has the attitude to grow, they will. Conversely, if they do not have an attitude to grow, they will not.
My rule of thumb is for leaders to stop pouring 80 percent of their time and energy into their problems and start putting 80 percent of their time and energy into their opportunities.
If you do not possess godliness, the people will not let you lead them. If you do not possess competency, you cannot lead them.