Advantages of adult Sunday School Bible classes
Published 6:53 pm Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I have a true loving concern for the large number of adults who show up for the preaching/worship service on Sunday morning but do not attend an adult Sunday School Bible class. This happens in varying numbers, according to congregation size, in some 100 evangelical churches in Chilton County each Sunday. It happens in large numbers in my church. My burden for these adults of all ages focuses on the fact of what they are missing out on. In the following paragraphs I will share with you some of the advantages of an adult Sunday School Bible class. I am aware that there are more, but I list and briefly comment on six advantages of which I am certain, based upon my experience and observation.
First, the small group adult Bible class is where the best true Christian fellowship begins. You get to know one another more personally and share burdens, joys and concerns. This is a needed preparation for the less personal congregational worship/preaching service.
Second, the smaller group adult Bible class is your best opportunity for spiritual growth in your church. We grow through a personal application of the word of God. As we read the Bible personally and share in small group study, the purpose must be to progressively change toward a likeness of Jesus Christ in attitude and actions. I dare say that there is never an adult Bible class Scripture passage on any given Sunday that does not contain potential for our spiritual growth.
Third, the adult Bible class is where you can find some systematic Bible study. With Bible study helps, you will either be studying through one of the 66 books of the Bible or confronting practical Bible topics. You will have a simple resource book to aid you. And as good as the pastor’s sermons may be, seldom are they a systematic study and normally you will not know ahead of time what subject or scripture will be addressed or have any study aid to help you prepare.
Fourth, the adult Bible class can be personal and practical. In the “preaching service” no one will raise his or her hand or stand up and say, “Pastor, I want to ask a question about that” or “Pastor, I want to share something I have experienced concerning that point” or “Pastor, may I add something to that.” No, but in the adult Bible class all these are possible and should always be encouraged. It is normal for God to speak to or through someone other than the teacher.
Fifth, the adult Bible class is the most practical way to get involved in caring for one another, serving one another and doing outreach within the congregation and outside the congregation. It will be a rare happening to see a person who only attends the preaching/worship service become involved in any caring, serving or outreach ministry. The adult Bible class becomes the best guarantee that no one gets overlooked on either the giving end or the receiving end of serving, caring and outreach.
Sixth, through an adult Bible class is one of the most practical ways to focus your commitment on Jesus Christ, the word of God and the local church body rather than on the preacher/pastor of the church. This is exceedingly important. Accountability is a built-in reality in the small group Bible class: accountable to each other and for each other, accountable to the teacher and accountability by the teacher to the class members; accountable to the word of God; and accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ.
No pastor should be pleased that persons are attending the worship service only until everything possible is done to provide enough vital adult Sunday School Bible classes and to enlist each adult in participation.