Sunday School

Whatever name you know them as, Sunday School, Small Groups, Bible Study Groups or by another name, the Biblical basis for small groups is very strong. There are plenty of accounts in the Bible of them existing in the early church (Acts 2:46, 12:12, 20:8, 20:20; Rom. 16:4-5; I Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:5; Philemon 2). And many Biblical commands given to the church seem to require them. These especially include commands for Christians to minister to one another (Heb. 3:13, 10:24-25; Gal. 6:2; Col. 3:16; James 5:16; I Peter 4:8-9; Eph. 4:32). The very "one anotherness" of these commands necessitates Christian fellowship contexts small enough for our ministry to one another to be truly mutual. Combining this strong Biblical basis -- with our own experiences in the effectiveness of small group ministry -- gives a very strong rationale for us to pursue small groups.

Our prayer is that every member and regular attender of Eastside Baptist Church will view participation in a sunday school class as an integral part of their privilege and responsibility that comes with being a part of the Body of Christ. God desires to heal us spiritually and satisfy our deepest needs and to flow through us to help meet the needs of others.

Sunday School classes are intentional efforts to create an atmosphere that causes believers and non-believers to grow in their understanding and application of God’s direction in our lives. Sunday school classes help create Biblical community.

Throughout the Bible, community is a theme. God has always been calling out a people for Himself, beginning with His first creation and continuing with Israel and the New Testament church. Even when the Jews were dispersed among enemy nations during times of captivity, they organized themselves into groups and ultimately formed synagogues where they could serve one another and carry out their beliefs.

In Acts 2, the first century church met in temple courts (Sunday morning worship) and in house-to-house (small group) settings. These new church communities began as small groups, just as Jesus had modeled with the 12 (Mark 3:14; Luke 6:12-19).

More than 50 Biblical "one anothers" admonish us to be closely involved with a few others (sunday school/small groups) in order that we might learn and imitate attitudes and behaviors that characterize God’s household – the community of believers.

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