Sunday School or Small Groups?

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Sunday School or small groups? That's the question many churches are asking as they think about how to best make disciples. In this training post, Bill Search speaks from his ministry experience leading Sunday School programs and small groups to help churches come to the best answer for their context. Bill currently serves as Senior Pastor of Rolling Hills Christian Church in El Dorado Hills, California and is author of Simple Small Groups.



Before you move on to the questions below, spend some time thinking about the mission of your particular church. This may be expressed in a formal mission statement, or contained in your values/beliefs statements. If you need to, read through those documents with fresh eyes in the context of the Sunday School and Small Groups question.

Take a moment and write out the ways SUNDAY SCHOOL can help accomplish your church's mission.
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Now, repeat that process, making note of how SMALL GROUPS can help accomplish your church's mission.
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Compare the positives of both Sunday School and Small Groups from your answers above. What would you say are the biggest strengths of each?
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Bill mentioned moving from a church with classroom seating for 4000 people on a Sunday morning to a church with practically no classroom space. Consider your church building and its space configuration. How does your space inform your thinking about Sunday School and Small Groups?
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As you pray and think about Sunday School and Small Groups, let the mission God has called you and your church to stand at the center of your discussion. This might mean putting aside your personal preferences, or making a decision that at first seems unpopular to some in your congregation. Remember, no matter where you land, Sunday School and Small Groups are just tool or means to achieving the purpose God has called you to. 


For more from Bill on this topic, check out his book Simple Small Groups, here.