Any undertaking by the Body of Christ for the cause of Christ should be done with excellence! Our Lord and Savior deserves the very best from His redeemed people. Therefore, the church of Jesus Christ ought to excel. This is especially true for Sunday school and for small groups. You see, small Bible study groups like Sunday school are the Body of Christ on mission! Sunday school activates and mobilizes the army of God like nothing else. Think of it. Nothing engages God’s people in the work of God on Earth like Sunday school. Sunday school is the layman’s ministry that can employ the spiritual giftedness of a larger part of a congregation than any other ministry in the church.
Within each believer God has placed seeds of excellence. This is so because the Holy Spirit dwells in every true child of God. Because God, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, resides in us, we have excellence from within. Therefore, God Himself has empowered us to excel. Sunday school is the greatest venue the church possesses which allows her members to express the excellence of God. The great Apostle Paul taught this principle in Ephesians 3:9-11: “To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Because God has endowed us to excel; because Sunday school is the greatest venue for disciples to excel; Sunday School That Really Excels, then, becomes such a valuable resource in helping us accomplish “the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Steve Parr is a great champion and leader for Sunday school! This man knows his stuff, but he has also gathered some of the greatest Sunday school minds in North America, those who themselves have excelled in this work to provide wisdom and insights from their storied careers to aid church leaders. In addition, case studies have been provided for our edification. This book represents expertise from great Christian leaders and experiences from other churches, which form a powerful storehouse of usefulness for anyone wanting to use and grow their Sunday school.
Too many Sunday schools have wallowed in mediocrity for years. We have been satisfied to have “lukewarm” Sunday school ministries. We have been satisfied to allow this “Most Valuable Ministry” in the church to run on auto pilot. I am afraid we have fallen in love with our rhetoric about Sunday school more than excelling at Sunday school.
Jesus isn’t the poster boy for status quo! He turned the religious system of His day on its proverbial head. Jesus was willing to turn Judaism upside down, so don’t think for even a skinny minute that our religious institutions are safe! Are we raising believers in the cocoon of a domesticated Sunday school class and then wonder why they never get on mission with God? Being a soldier for Christ does not afford us the option of living a normal civilian life. When we get saved, we are placed smack-dab in the middle of a battleground, not a playground. Therefore, Sunday school should be a boot camp preparing soldiers for the spiritual battle, not a place for religious games. Our goal is not to provide a cozy cocoon for civilized faith to exist. Soldiers are trained to advance and take territory!
Two words that always go together – greatness and excellence. Great leadership is the pursuit of excellence. Without excellence mission will not be accomplished. Sunday school leader, nothing tells your people what is important as that which you pursue with excellence. It’s time to make a shift from just existing and move to excelling. Sunday school leader, if not you, who? If not now, when? If not this resource, what?
Come on now Commanding Officer, let’s rally the troops and charge enemy lines as we excel in the work and mission of Sunday school!
Minister of Education