|Rev. Leon C. Moore, Jr., General Secretary of Evangelism and Missions|
When is the last time you attended Church School? Yes, I realize we are still in a pandemic, however, that should not stop us from attending Church School. For some, the thought of going to school can be rather alarming. However, for others, it can be a place to get refreshed and renewed. Hearing the Biblical stories come to life by a prepared teacher is exciting. A significant challenge for the church is the myth that Church School is for children. Well, that’s not true, Church School is for everyone, yes everyone, Bishops, Clergy, and Laity. A title, position, and age are not deciding factors or prerequisites for attending or not attending Church School.
Although the pandemic has caused some challenges for the local church, the local church must not abandon the mission of God’s church. The mission is not optional; we must be about the business of the Lord. The truth is Sunday School can be a great place to shape one’s faith. Our faith will be awakened to the fullness of the God we are called and sent to represent as servants and followers of God’s word.
Biblical- Paul suggests, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by God, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.” 2nd Timothy 2:15 (NRSV). The Bible is noticeably clear about the believer’s role in the world. Matthew shares “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NRSV)
Study- Dr. Clifford Harris, General Secretary of Lay in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, suggest: “Study to show oneself knowledgeable; be one who is continually growing in the understanding and the interpretation of God’s Word. Study the Holy Bible and attend Bible Study and Sunday school.” We should study and learn to equip ourselves so that we can teach others. For, studying increases understanding; stimulates spiritual growth; builds and strengthens confidence, and helps to light the path on one’s way to assist and equip others.”
Faith Sharing- Church school is a small band of Bible believers who are intentional about learning and applying the word of God in their lives. Some churches may offer different classes (small groups) that can reach people. Without an evangelistic strategy for faith sharing, local mission work, and mobilization, Church School misses the mission of God. Church school allows the participants to share faith without fear. Here are the basic tenets of Church School: An evangelism/faith sharing:
1. Start a conversation
2. Pose a probing question
3. Ask permission and ask a direct question
These tenets are present in many Church Schools and evangelism/faith-sharing settings in-person,the parking lot, drive-up, or Zoom are so important. The local church must be creative to present effective and efficient ways of leading all ages to engage in Church School and evangelism/faith sharing. Church School is a school you never graduate from.
We are The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church recognizing the importance of Christ in our daily lives.
Leon C. Moore, Jr.
General Secretary of Evangelism and Missions
Pleasant Hill CME, Conyers, GA