Are Missional Communities Revitalizing the Sunday School Dinosaur?
Let me start by saying this post is meant to be interactive. I don’t know the answer to the question I’m asking. I’ve just started reading the Launching Missional Communities Field Guide by Mike Breen and Alex Absalom. They describe missional communities as being 20 -50 in number. Many other missional writers are communicating the same thing. The idea being that missional communities are more along the lines of small congregations rather than small groups of 8 – 12. I remember reading a book in bible college called Revitalizing the Sunday Morning Dinosaur. I couldn’t find it on my shelf, which means it didn’t survive one of my moves. But, I remember reading the book back in the day and being surprised at how mission focused Sunday School was when it started out. It was an evangelistic engine and often there would be more people involved in Sunday School than in Sunday morning worship. Add to that the pastoral and discipleship functions that many Sunday School groups held on to through the years and Sunday Schools sound a lot like missional communities. When I was in Bible College, all the rage was small groups. Now all the rage is missional communities of about 20 -50. So my question is are we revitalizing the Sunday School Dinosaur? We still have a few Sunday Schools in my local church that have survived over the years. It’s amazing to me how familial these groups are. There are people who have “left the church”, but they still attend their Sunday School class. Why? Because it’s like an extended family to them. It seems to me that where Sunday Schools broke down is when they lost their focus on mission and solely became environments for discipleship and fellowship. So what do you think? I’m I way out in left field? Or, have we rediscovered a successful system that thrived over a century ago? I’d appreciate your thoughts.