A new book I am pleased to be a contributor.
The pastor has cast a vision of excellence regarding Bible study, prayer, ministry, and outreach. The Sunday School Council has taken the vision to the next level of developing an overall strategy for the entire Sunday school. Now the next step is taken, and each class is challenged to be fully engaged in implementing the church strategy in their individual groups. A look into Inola’s strategy reveals a vital aspect of developing vision and strategy. Churches often have one without the other. A church that is strong on vision but has not followed through with an adequate strategy will quickly lose momentum. Vision and enthusiasm can only carry a church family so far. Eventually, some type of strategy must be implemented to see that the vision is being done throughout the organization. Conversely, a congregation that is implementing a strategy without a vision will ultimately find itself pulled in many directions or perhaps moving in the wrong direction. The members lose heart and the strategy, as good as it may look on paper, will grind to a halt because of a lack of vision. Sunday schools that excel must have a healthy combination of vision and strategy if they are to truly excel.
Pastor Gideon invested a full year of preaching and casting a vision for a Sunday school that excels. But just what does an excelling Sunday School look like? In order for people to understand the vision, Gideon cast a mental picture of what the church would look like when they achieved their goal. Gideon’s goal was to see people come to faith in Jesus through the Sunday school groups. Sunday school would be a place where evangelism took place.
Furthermore, each class would become the church’s primary place of personal care and ministry once a person trusted Jesus as Savior. The design is to ensure that no member would ever go through a crisis alone. Gideon also expressed a vision that “God’s house would be a place of prayer”. Every member would not only receive ministry but would also be supported by prayer.
Finally, every member would experience life changing Bible study each week through the church’s Sunday school ministry. After receiving this vision from the pastor, the Sunday School council set out to develop and cast the strategy that they would ask each class in the church to adopt. The strategy put the implementation squarely on each class. Each class would, therefore, be accountable for staffing and implementing the strategy. The strategy was developed from Gideon’s vision of prayer, ministry, and evangelism.
In summary, the pastor cast the vision and enlisted the Sunday School council. The council developed the strategy and enlisted the support of each class. Each class implemented the strategy and became accountable to the Sunday School team for results.
Steve Parr. (2013). Sunday School that Really Excels.