“Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

We live in a rapidly changing society where the effectiveness and relevance of virtually everything is being questioned. What about Sunday School, home groups, life groups, cell groups? Are any of these the “silver bullet” that may be counted on for the future?

Indeed, there are no silver bullets, but there is a model that you may count on for ministry and making disciples. Jesus gave the model, and those who do their best to emulate it are being blessed.

The question is not when or where your group meets, but why it gathers. Groups that meet in the traditional Sunday School hour will need to be intentionally engaged in the disciple-making strategy of the church.

If there is a widespread problem with Sunday School, it is a lack of mission focus. Simply put, the groups no longer exist for a mission beyond the meeting.

In a recent conversation with David Francis, we mused about what Robert Raikes would say to Sunday School leaders of today. David believes that he would encourage a more intentional focus on children.

What about Arthur Flake, J.N. Barnette and other legendary Baptist Sunday School leaders? They probably would desire to see more emphasis on evangelism and a return to the historic functions of Sunday School. I think their successors, Harry Piland and Bill Taylor, would share these views.

But what of the model Jesus gave? His model was built on relationships and had a clear mission. He started a group for the purpose of growing spiritually and going on mission together to make disciples of all peoples.

Can this happen through Sunday School and through all manner of small groups? It did, it will and it should until He returns. It is a model for all time. Look at the model, learn from it and live it to His glory.

State Missionary Daniel Edmonds, director of the Office of Sunday School & Discipleship, may be contacted at directly at (334) 613-2285, toll free at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 285, or via email at dedmonds@alsbom.org.

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Daniel Edmonds

State Missionary Daniel Edmonds has been employed by the State Board of Missions since 1996 and is currently the Director of the Office of Sunday School and Discipleship.Daniel's responsibilities include assisting associations and churches in developing and/or maintaining a standard of excellence in Sunday School work.
Daniel and his wife Terri, are members at Vaughn Forest Baptist Church, Montgomery. They have a son and a daughter.
Daniel Edmonds
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