Wow! It is hard to believe that this coming Sunday is our “Welcome Back Sunday.” No doubt, you have probably already noticed the increased population/traffic in Ruston as the university begins a new fall quarter. (NOTE: For your own safety, you might want to avoid downtown until these new Tech students figure out the one-way streets!) I love this time of year as it gives us new opportunities for ministry and growth. Our whole church can sense the excitement of this season; and, hopefully, we are praying that the Lord will use us in a mighty way to make a difference in people’s lives.
I am especially grateful that we can use this moment to (re)encourage individuals to join us in Sunday School. You have heard me say that the Sunday School ministry is the lynchpin that connects us together. Indeed, I am convinced that it is more important for people to attend that small group setting than for them to attend the larger worship event itself. Sounds crazy for a preacher who preaches in the worship services to say that, doesn’t it?” Yet, study after study reveals that individuals need that smaller community to study/assimilate/reach/care effectively.
Some years ago, Leamon Best, our Sunday School Director at the time, underscored the significance of Sunday School and its work. He declared, “The Sunday School has been entrusted with the teaching of God’s Word. This organization carries the heaviest responsibility of the church. It has been assigned the task of reaching the people, teaching the people, winning them, and developing them. This is basic to all Baptist work. We must not take the task of Sunday School lightly. Much of our growth of the church depends upon a healthy, growing, and functioning Sunday School organization.” How his words still echo in the life and ministry of our congregation!
Sunday School is still just as important for us today as it was in Mr. Leamon’s day. And that is why it is important for us to make every effort this week to reach out to our class members/prospects and encourage them to join us! Class leaders, please look down your class roll and contact the people that God has placed under your care. All class members, think of those (members/prospects) you can touch base with, and make it a point to visit with them in some way this week. Let’s make this a true “Welcome Back Sunday”!
Leamon closed his remarks with a sobering, straightforward appeal: “Can you imagine what would happen to our church if we fail in any one of the responsibilities of the Sunday School? Suppose we quit reaching people! We soon would have no church. Suppose we stop teaching the Bible! Suppose no one was ever won to the saving knowledge of Christ! What would happen if we fail to provide opportunities for service for our people? . . . Without a functioning Sunday School, our church could never be what it was meant to be.” Friends, let’s be both punctual and functional this week as we commit ourselves once more to the small group ministry of teaching, reaching, and caring that we call Sunday School. It is going to be a great day as the Lord works! See you then!