It happens in every church—different ministries send members in different directions over time. While the youth may have one focus during Sunday school and another on Wednesday evenings, the adults could be deep in a sermon series as well as their own small group studies throughout the week. On the surface, we accept that this is “just the way it is” …but what if the routine was disrupted? An all-inclusive church-wide study might be just how God plans to bring your congregation closer together—here’s how:
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” - 1 Corinthians 12:12
As members of the Body of Christ, we’re all pulled in different directions, as our God-given gifts lead us. It’s wonderful, but just as we each need to allow our physical bodies to come to complete peace and healing from time to time, the Body of Christ needs to do the same. An all-inclusive church-wide study provides just such an opportunity—each spiritual gift can have a place in the planning and execution of the study, but each member of a church ought to participate, as well, providing a spiritually reviving experience for the entire church family.
Cross-generational spiritual conversation is often lost in today’s culture. The advent of technology has been a blessing (providing the ability to reading the Bible from an app and then sharing the Word with thousands of people across social media channels), but it’s also led to a tendency to draw inward instead of connecting with those (physically) around us. This phenomenon isn’t isolated to younger generations, either—we all feel the pull of the smartphone glow from time to time—but an all-inclusive church-wide study helps to provide the foundation for intergenerational reconnection. The opportunity for children and adults to study the same topics (at levels that match their maturity) is one that fosters discussion, bonding, and spiritual growth among the entire Body of Christ.
While there is a time for multiple studies to take place within a church, a continuous segmentation can lead to a church body that is not fully connected or focused. Multiple competing efforts can diffuse enthusiasm (instead of inspiring it). An all-inclusive church-wide study provides an opportunity for the entire congregation to be on the same page and can lead to more overall support, participation, and excitement for the study.
See how you can engage your entire church with an all-inclusive study today--preview The Crucified Life and The Cross Walk to learn how they can be the right fit for your congregation!
I believe very strongly that Sunday Schools and other church groups composed of members mature enough to organize themselves should decide on their study programs. This bottoms-up and take-responsibility-for-your-life approach will produce better results in all aspects than top-down management. Sunday School is a major part of church life for me, and I will be quite disappointed if changes are forced on these groups.
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August 24, 2021
Tom, thank you so much for your feedback. Certainly, we would agree that there should be autonomy in choosing curriculum that feels right for certain groups and classes. In no way would we want to disparage that idea. What we do love to provide is curriculum in which the church can be unified if that is appropriate. We work from the Lectionary so have assigned readings from the OT, Psalms, Letters, and the Gospel. Our heart’s desire here at BSM is to provide study materials for small groups and Sunday School programs so that they can go deeper into the Lectionary teachings/readings. It can be pretty powerful when sermons, Sunday School classes, and small groups delve into the same portion of Scripture and study it all throughout the week.
This is by no means a one size fits all concept. Again, thank you for taking the time to interact with our blog posts and for sharing your opinions. We do read them and value them!
May God bless you!