As a relatively new and inexperienced Minister of Education, I can remember going with the Sunday School Director to a conference sponsored by the Alabama Baptist State Sunday School Office. It was a thrill and inspiration to both of us.
On the way home we began to dream the dream of what could happen at our church. The church had not experienced growth in many years. There was an air of excitement in the car as we discussed all of the possibilities. However, it wasn’t long before the possibilities became problems. Soon the excitement diminished as we saw one seemingly insurmountable difficulty after another. What seemed early like victory was now another resounding defeat.
Lawrence Phipps, my pastor, once told me the devil never prevents you from going to conferences on evangelism and church growth. He said Satan just slides in the seat next to you on the way home to tell you why it cannot happen at your church.
This was exactly what happened to us on the ride home. The devil was showing us all the problems and defeating us before we were even started. I wonder how many times churches mean well, but fail to start because of the potential problems.
Thankfully, God had provided me with a wise Sunday School director, Jerry Collins. I remember him asking me if I thought this was important to God. I looked at Jerry and said, “Of course I think Sunday School is important to God!” He responded, “Do you think He has already got these problems figured out?” “Certainly He does,” I said. The words Jerry said next have remained with me through the years, “Then let’s just start with what we know and let Him show us all the rest.” Over the next few years God begin to show us more than we could have imagined.
Every church that attempts to advance the Kingdom will come against opposition. The shame is that many are defeated before they ever get started. As the person with the responsibility of directing the Sunday School, you may feel like you know virtually nothing about the work. This may be true. However, in Christ you know the One who wants to accomplish the work through you. Just get started and let Him show you all the rest.
Read the rest of the entries in this series at Directing Sunday School with SKILL.