Recently, I was a part of a group of 18 people who traveled together from PSBC to Belize on a mission trip. Many of you probably came and heard our report. If you missed the report and the highlight video, you can watch it here. We were privileged to serve, and blessed to see so many wonderful things done for good in the name of Jesus. As a group leader, I was blessed and encouraged to see how well our team functioned and enjoyed each other’s fellowship as we served. Allow me to make one observation about small group dynamics and service, as well as make the connection to our work as Sunday School small group leaders.
When our small group gathered to meet and prepare, even to leave for the airport, it was clear that many of us knew each other and were familiar with each other’s names. Some of us knew each other better than others, but some knew very little about their other teammates. Over the course of the week however, our relationships deepened and our fellowship grew rich. Our group was multi-generational, and diverse and many other ways, but we had a common mission. I observed, and experienced an extraordinary “coming together” throughout the week as we served. The group became united around our experiences and purpose.
Very few things will unite a small group like coming together to serve others. When you stand side by side with a group member and serve food to the needy, or care for an orphan, something special happens to your relationship.
As we have returned from the mission trip, I have observed the group’s warm interactions with each other in the halls at church, and working together at our Fourth of July family outreach. I have heard plans for future mission trips with the same team, some local, some not. I have heard plans for a cookout with the team. There is a sense of great accomplishment, and optimism. There is a sense of excitement about what is possible through our partnership.
The call of the Gospel to rescue the perishing and bring hope to the poor and needy is at the core of small group Sunday School life.
The same uniting experience is possible for your Sunday School small group. The same bonding through a shared mission is possible. Need exists all around us. We must ask ourselves if the willingness to roll up our sleeves and serve together exists.
Sunday School is the church organized to serve. It’s in our vision statement for Sunday School. It’s one of the core values of our church purpose, to Change Lives through missions and ministry. It’s in our DNA as new creations in Christ.
Missions and ministry is the essential element of a healthy, united community of faith and discipleship. That is what we are building in Sunday School. Find some way to get your small group in action serving the needy in our community. Just do it. Through your actions lives will be changed in Christ, and your group will grow deeper together.
If you need help finding a project, just give me a shout. I have you covered.