Building God's Church at Center Point through the Sunday School, 3 of 4
TEXT: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
TOPIC: Building God’s Church at Center Point through the Sunday School
Pastor Bobby Earls, First Baptist Church, Center Point
June 11, 2006
(Message 3 of 4 in the "Building God's Church Series)
1I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1-5, NKJV
This morning’s message is entitled, Building God’s Church at Center Point through the Sunday School, This is the third message in a series called Building God’s Church at Center Point.
Two Sundays ago, I preached on Building God’s Church at Center Point, the Church Jesus Built, and last Sunday we heard Building God’s Church at Center Point through Prayer.
I am of the opinion that the entire church programs and ministries are determined by one major organization in the church! I am of the opinion that our membership, our offerings, our baptisms, are all determined by this same major organization in the church. This major organization serves as the strong structure that can produce positive things or if this organization is weak, the entire church program will be weak! The name of this organization or structure is Sunday School!
Immediately some of you say, "S.S. is for kids." You could not be further mistaken--Sunday School is for growing and maturing Christians and serves as the only organization in this church whereby you and your family can learn about Jesus in an indepth manner!
What is Sunday School? It is a Christian education School that meets
on Sunday at 9:00 AM every Sunday morning! My premise today is that we can build a great church at Center Point by building a great Sunday School. I also believe that every member of the church ought also be a member of the church Sunday School. My challenge to all us this morning is that we re-envision the purpose and place of the Sunday School in our church and in our lives.
It is a sad reality that far too many church members are not committed to the Sunday School. One educator has said, "It is the most wasted hour of the week."
J. EDGAR HOOVER said, "Sunday School is a crime prevention laboratory." Why is it that so many have not seen the need for weekly Bible study in their life!
Some would say the reason is bad leadership, others say it is a lack of commitment from Sunday School teachers, others have said nobody ever told me it was important, still others have said they have been bored every time they go because they can read out of book at home.
It is a proven fact: The people that come to Sunday School are usually those that feel like they are part of a church! Usually those that come to Sunday School are people that stay involved in the church!
I want to promise you as the pastor of this church that we are committed to getting Sunday School where it needs to be, but it cannot be fully that until each of us commit ourselves to it weekly!
Years ago SBC had Training Union-Today that organization is dead in most churches! This same thing is threatening every SBC Sunday School today! Why? Today I want to answer that for you—and perhaps for our church as well.
SUNDAY SCHOOL SHOULD BE AS MUCH OF A RELIGIOUS EDUCATION EXPERIENCE AS IS WORSHIP.
What has happened to the Sunday School that does not hold the priority it once did in most churches? There has been the following:
1. A DE-EMPHASIS ON OUTREACH BEING THE ULTIMATE PURPOSE OF OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL, 2 Timothy 4:5 do the work of an evangelist
Exp: Paul commissioned Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. An evangelist gives glad tidings to those without God and without hope! We have lost our vision dear friends of seeing opportunities of sharing Jesus Christ with others as being the priority of the local church.
Ill: Here’s a Sunday School Challenge: I challenge every Sunday School class to set a goal of enrolling two people per quarter per class. If everyone of our classes did this we would enroll over 160 people in the coming year.
Our average attendance would at least go up to 350 or more weekly if many of you would commit yourself to coming weekly at 9:00 AM.
App: When the Sunday School places outreach as the priority then that involves each active member of the Sunday School in the great commission.
You need to discover people that we can involve in Sunday School! You
must develop growth eyes to see the needs of people in your certain age
group as well as others. Our entire church could double our S.S. if
each of us would do our best to attempt to influence the many people
within our circles of concern!
I challenge you and your class to place outreach as your ultimate priority!
2. A DE-EMPHASIS ON QUALITY LIFE CHANGING BIBLE STUDY IN OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL, 2 Timothy 4:2-4
2Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
(1) “Charge” is a challenge, a commandment,
(2) Preach the word of God all the time, urgently, under complusion
(3) People may not want to hear sound doctrine, but want to hear milktoast sermons that entertain today, but does not challenge us. Criswell’s sermon at the SBC in 1992, talking about effeminate preachers.
This kind of teaching does not grow Christians. Like teachers to shoot the breeze rather than teach!
(4) Turn away from truth, wanting the teacher to compromise by teaching everything but the Word of God.
Ill: Quality-will be no greater than what is happening in your life daily with God.
Life-changing Bible study-Study that will influence my life as practically applied.
App: A Christian that says he does not need this is a carnal and fleshly Christian!
Bible study is the substance of all we do--It provides us with the resources
to live for God! The Scripture says, "Thy word hid in my heart that I may not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11
3. A DE-EMPHASIS ON A CARING MINISTRY THROUGH OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL, 2 Timothy 4:5
be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Exp: our ministry--ministry is meeting the needs of people! How many times has your Sunday School class met the needs of one of your members or of someone outside our church!
Ill: Wouldn't it be great if all of our classes at Thanksgiving and Christmas time provided some people with ministry that they would not have otherwise, a meal, clothese, presents, etc.....
Your class should do a caring project several times a year--Where you will
have to give your time and yourself away!
App: Have we been a caring Sunday School class--or have we just sat around and ministered to each other building each other up!!!
CONCLUSION: Do you see the importance of Bible study in your life weekly?
I want to give you a Sunday School Challenge as I close this message today. You can respond as an individual and/or as a family?
1. Refocus your life on spiritual values as a priority. Attending SS each Sunday is certainly a part of such a refocus. So the second challenge is this:
2. Commit to spiritual growth by being a part of Bible study through our Sunday School each Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
3. Become an inviter of others, encouraging others to join with you in life-changing Bible study and caring ministry through the Sunday School at FBC, Center Point.