Sunday School Transformation

A friend of mine, Dr. Daryl Eldridge, once said, “Pastors should have to disciple and reproduce a Sunday School Class or Small Group before they take a church.” That statement burns in my soul when I think of authentic discipleship. The sad reality is “90-95% of pastors are not in small groups themselves,” according to Eldridge. (Check out Rockbridge Seminary in the sidebar)

Recently (Oct 07) I started teaching a Young Adult Class at Cornerstone. I was reluctant at first because I didn’t think I would connect with them. But I was wrong. Ten months later things have really come around. Last Sunday we had 31 in the class and barley had a seat left. Much of the growth and momentum has come from college kids coming home for the Summer. They will leave to go back at some point. But we have seen a momentum shift. Why?

1. We have kept to our class vision: Our vision is to create opportunities for transformation.

2. We didn’t cave in when the class was small. It got down to 10-12, but we remembered Jesus only had twelve and he impacted the world.

3. We began to teach with multimedia support. Power Point, even just simple images, goes a long way to creating the transformational atmosphere.

4. We built community through social media like Facebook, MySpace, and Google mail. I email my class twice a week to encourage them in their walk with God through practicing Bible reading and prayer.

I’m convinced Sunday School and/or Small Groups are the place for transformation. Get in a group at your church and make a difference. I’m planning on BBQing each Saturday to have something to take for my class to eat. What can you do to make a difference for the word to be centered in peoples’ lives that they might be transformed?

Explore posts in the same categories: Leading, Small Groups

2 Comments on “Sunday School Transformation”

  1. Alan, it is even more difficult for pastors to be in Sunday School or a small group when there are multiple worship services. But their example in leading or at least participating in a class or group is powerful. Why not start a class before worship on Sunday night? Or why not start a men’s group in the early morning at a restaurant? Or for couples in a home during a weekday evening? Hold up the value of classes/groups. Share a testimony about your participation. Check out this blog post: When Pastors Attend Sunday School/Small Groups, It Is Contagious! ( for more on the subject.

  2. pastoralan Says:

    Hey Darryl,

    I agree when you have multiple services it’s not possible. Pastor Johnny Hunt at mentions often how he sits in a class. He often quotes his teacher in his sermons. Pastors should have a group they sit in and not necessarily lead. Our problem is we ask people to do what we don’t do. And that’s dangerous. We have substituted biblical discipleship in part with programs which suck the relational life blood out of the church.

    Darryl, what do you think of sermon based small groups?

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