Transitioning from Sunday School to small groups

March 6, 2018

This podcast was recorded at the Disciple-Making Conference breakout session training and focuses on the differences between Sunday School and small groups. Don’t they accomplish the same purpose? Discipleship of believers is not about the setting, but more about substance and strategy. Many churches, however, have a traditional Sunday School model without a clear discipleship design in place. With the continued secularization of American culture, churches must define their discipleship strategy, equip and train effective leaders and move their Sunday School beyond Bible reflection and into life-on-life discipleship. Ronnie Parrott helps pastors and leaders determine, define and implement a successful strategy for making disciples through whichever small group model their churches utilize.

Here is an excerpt from this podcast:

It’s not about setting; it’s about substance. It’s not about location, but about strategy. I’m not going to convince you to move from Sunday School to small groups. I’m going to convince you to figure out what you’re doing and leverage whatever model you’re using for the purpose of making disciples. Any time we talk about the practical outworking of ministry inside the local church, we need to think about it through a lens. Any strategy you’re doing needs to have a theological base, [a] foundation underneath the reasoning of why. Whatever your philosophy is going to be needs to be based out of your biblical foundation. And then whatever philosophy you have for your small group ministry, then comes your methodology. The method of which you engage or release your philosophy. Any time you talk about community inside the local church, you start at the theological. Acts 2:42 talks about the importance of the Word of God. They devoted themselves to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. All of those things can be done individually, minus fellowship. Fellowship is the reason they gather in the first place. Fellowship is really important in whatever small group model you have. Hebrews 10:19-25 gives us the basis of our Christian community and the purpose of our Christian community. The reason we gather at all is because the gospel unites us above all things. The basis for any Christian community that we have, for any small group inside the local church, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The faith is what should hold us together. The purpose of Christian community is to help foster an environment to help people be faithful unto death. It’s not about the location of your small group, but about what happens inside of those groups.

by Ronnie Parrott  /  Pastor  /  Christ Community Church

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