Why Join a Sunday School Life Group?
Download PDF: Updated Life Group Listings
What, school on Sunday? I don’t want to spend Sunday in school. What if I have to read out loud or pray in front of other people? What if I don’t know as much as other people in the class. What if I don’t know what they’re talking about. Maybe you’ve said something like this or felt this way. We have good news. At Staples Mill Road Baptist Church, Sunday School is not just “school”. It is an opportunity for your life to intersect with the lives of other people. People of similar age and interests. It is a chance to foster relationships that will strengthen and encourage you while you are learning and growing from the study of God’s word. Our goal is to help you connect with other believers, encourage you in your spiritual growth, give you opportunities for leadership and service and prepare you for the mission and ministry God has called you to. Through Sunday School, you can do that with the support and encouragement of people you will grow close to and serve with. You will be an important part of God’s family at Staples Mill Road Baptist Church and you’ll build relationships for life with people you can depend on.
Four Purposes of Life Groups
Membership – Christianity involves more than believing, it also includes belonging. “So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5 NIV). We grow in Christ by being in relationship to other believers. Romans 12:10 instructs, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” We are called to gather together for corporate worship but we cannot achieve the level of intimacy in a congregational setting that is possible in a small group setting. Meeting together with people of like age and interests, week after week, to study, pray, fellowship and minister together fosters a closeness and develops a network of support that we can draw on in times of need. God created us for relationship with Him and with each other. Sunday School offers a tremendous opportunity to develop that connectedness.
Maturity – Sunday School is an opportunity for you to grow in your knowledge and understanding of the Lord. God has given us the Bible as the authoritative revelation of Himself to humanity. That revelation has the power to transform us into the image of Christ. (Rom 12:2 NIV) “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (1 Pet 2:2 NKJV) “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby”. Sunday School provides a weekly opportunity for small group study of God’s word to compliment your personal study at home, promoting your maturity in your faith.
Ministry – Sunday School also provides an opportunity for you to discover and use your spiritual gifts to meet the needs of others in Jesus’ name. “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (1 Cor 12:7 NKJV). “But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased” (1 Cor 12:18). Each member of the body is gifted for service. Through the study of God’s word in the small group setting, you will discover and be affirmed in the use of your gifts to serve the body and minister in the community. God’s word and God’s people will provide that affirmation. In a growing Sunday School, opportunities for service will constantly present themselves as we are faithful to God’s call upon our life.
Missions – God has given the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (Mat 28:19-20 NKJV). The best translation of that verse is “As you are going…..” In other words, as we go about our lives, working, going to school, shopping, relaxing, interacting….we are to be making disciples. Telling people what Jesus has done in our life and what He can do in theirs. That is our ministry and the beginning of our mission field. Sunday School is an equipping arm of the church and serves to prepare each of us for the mission field that begins in our personal world and extends to the church, our community, our nation and the uttermost parts of the earth. Through the study of God’s word and the ministry of the believers one to another, we become equipped and encouraged for God’s call upon our life. We are all called to be ministers of the Gospel, set apart and sent out. “… I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (John 4:35 NKJV)