You may have noticed that the ReConnect Sunday School initiative is a major part of what we are emphasizing at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. At this year’s annual meeting of the BGCO and our State Evangelism Conference last week, the largest display in the exhibit hall was the ReConnect booth. This is not accidental, ReConnect Sunday School is the major emphasis of our state convention.
What is the big deal about ReConnect Sunday School and the START Campaign? Why is the BGCO rallying all of its ministry organizations to support ReConnect Sunday School?
Sunday School is the largest ministry of the local church.
Your church may use a different tactic such as home groups, Bible Fellowships, or LifeGroups to involve your people in small group Bible study, but these are tactics of an overall small group strategy. In the overwhelming number of churches, the small group strategy is the largest organization in the church. At the BGCO, we believe that the largest organization of the church should be about accomplishing the mission of the church. The aim of ReConnect Sunday School is to connect Sunday School to the Great Commission.
Sunday School puts the mission of the church in the hands of the people of the church.
From its very beginnings, Sunday School is a lay-led strategy. Yes, the pastor is the leader of the Sunday School, but the leaders of every small group or class are lay people. The people who oversee and administrate the Sunday School are almost all lay people. The more people involved in leading and carrying out the mission of the church, the more successful that church will be in carrying out the Great Commission.
Sunday School impacts every area of the church.
A fully functioning Sunday School is the church’s bread and butter for ministry. The pastor cannot minister to the needs of every church member on a regular basis. Ephesians 4:11-12 is an important verse for pastors and church members to understand. A major ministry of the pastor is to “equip the saints to do the work of the ministry”. Sunday School is where we connect lost people so that they can see the Gospel on display in daily life. It is the foundational strategy for Bible study and community. In their new book, Transformational Groups, authors Eric Geiger and Ed Stetzer point out that people who participate in their church’s small group strategy:
- Read the Bible more often
- Pray more
- Give more
- Serve more
- Share their faith more
- Are better connected to others
In Oklahoma, we have a new definition of Sunday School that reflects the Great Commission mandate of the church through its small group or Sunday School strategy.
What is the ReConnect START Campaign?
The START Campaign is how we are putting “handles” on the ReConnect Sunday School strategy. The statement above defines the Sunday School. The START Campaign helps the church put the strategy into action. The START Campaign is a specific, ten week effort to use the Sunday School to do the Great Commission. The key components are:
- Start new groups
- Evangelism training and commitment to soulwinning
- Inviting the lost to your group
- 10 weeks of visitation
I will be further explaining each of the above activities in blog posts the rest of this week.