As we begin the new Sunday School Year this Sunday we are also beginning a new model for adults call Biblical Communities. I have selected a couple of question and answers from the Adult Biblical Community Notebook to share with you this week. You can download a copy of that notebook here or Sheri has copies available at her desk.
Does our Sunday School Class automatically become a Biblical Community? No, to be a Biblical Community you would need to have a leader, apprentice leader, outreach leader and one care group leader for every 6-12 members on the roll. However, most of our Sunday School Classes already utilized some or all of the leadership suggested and will likely be our early adopters. We have a great lay faculty who are passionate about seeing people grow. Biblical Community is a model for doing effective Sunday School and affirms a focus on four key concepts, a structured use of time and an intergenerational home family care group fellowship.
What is the biggest difference I might experience between a traditional Sunday School Small Group and Biblical Community? If you are looking for a massive change, there is not one. We are simply placing the emphasis upon our four focuses and aligning ourselves to accomplish what we believe will make a significant impact for Christ in our community. We are encouraging changes that will make Bible Study the prime part of the hour we gather in community. We will develop our outreach efforts and invite every member to play a role in making and inviting friends to know and love Christ. We are organizing to deepen fellowship and care. Finally, we are planning to grow, not just to be bigger, but to change lives.
We are moving from a leader centric model of Bible Study to a member centric model. God’s call is to live in Christ and set as a goal to become a mature disciple. The process of becoming a mature disciple of Christ lies near the very heart of good Sunday School, good Biblical Small Groups or good Biblical Community.
Do Home Family Care Groups replace Sunday Night Small Groups? Yes and no. Yes, Home Family Care Groups do replace Sunday Night Small Groups on the church schedule and will be our focus moving forward. However, any small group that wants to continue to meet can do so as often as they wish, we will just not be calendaring them, promoting them, producing Bible Studies for them or providing child care. Our focus will be in developing intergenerational home family care groups.
Will child care be provided for Home Family Care Groups? No child care is planned for Home Family Care Groups. Intergenerational groups strengthen discipleship, foster meaningful relationship and church life in general. Should a situation arise that child care is needed that will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the care group leader, minister of adults and minister of preschool.
How do we convert from an Adult Sunday School Class to an Adult Biblical Community? While there is no check list for converting there would be five general steps. 1. Present the concept to the group and allow time for to very important things to happen—questions/answers and prayer. This involves the class members becoming active in shared leadership and a desire to focus on growth. 2. If the class is in agreement leadership should be called to the task of apprentice leader, outreach leader, care group leader or leaders. 3. Train new leadership in task and make plans to move to the Biblical Community Structure. 4. Make care group assignments to leaders and begin meeting at least monthly in small intergenerational home family care groups. 5. Involve all of the members and members serving in the work of the class. We are making disciples.