Sunday School became the Baptist way to teach the Bible and therefore began the discipleship process. Going deeper meant that you had to attend other opportunities to grow, like the old “Training Union.” Somewhere along the way churches neglected the one-to-one discipleship making for the “class” style. I believe that we have missed so much by not teaching the individual discipleship making process for the Christian church and left it up to the para-church groups that walk alongside the church. (Navigators, Campus Crusade for Christ, etc…)
Jesus gave us a simple job, teach others what He taught us in the Word! Sometimes Sunday Schools do that well and sometimes they don’t do a very good job.
Let me illustrate for you what I mean. How many of you have been in church, hearing messages and attended Sunday School for more than ten years? Could we all agree that in ten years you can learn a lot about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Christian life, the Bible, stewardship, giving, sharing your faith, quiet time, personal study and loving God with all your heart? Shouldn’t you have been able to become a “disciple” and learn enough to teach others as well from all you have learned? You don’t have to raise your hand but you will know in your heart immediately what I mean when I say,
“How many of you are walking with Christ, knowing enough to take another Christian, a new Christian, and teach them the fundamentals of the faith so they may be able to grow?”
If you can’t do it with ten years experience in Sunday School and hearing messages from the pulpit, then how long will it take: 20, 30, 40, 50 plus years? If you have learned enough then why haven’t you begun to disciple others one-to-one?
Hard questions aren’t they? I am not trying to embarrass anyone or put down SS because I am a SS man. What I want for you is to motivate you to go with the information and knowledge about the Bible and the Christian life that you have and disciple someone else. All of us are called to do that not just preachers or Sunday School teachers! I can help you with materials and give you ideas but mostly to encourage you as you try! Sunday School is great, Small Groups are great and small Bible studies are great; all are very valuable. Much learning comes from them all, and you can learn to be a good disciple from that kind of learning. But we can’t deny that Jesus used the one-to-one or one-to-twelve method spending time with selected individuals and shared His life and teachings with them. Many Christians have done this in their lives and maybe you can be encouraged to do it too.