In this most recent book by Steve Parr on Sunday School ministry, he provides a compilation of various authors that discuss their approach to Sunday School in a variety of ministry settings. Each chapter deals with a particular issue, rural setting, multicultural, revitalization, small group, and others.
Parr lays the foundation for the discussion with an interview with Thom Rainer, President – Lifeway Christian Resources. Dr. Rainer discusses the State of Sunday School Today drawing from his years of ministry experience, not only as a researcher and author but also as the Dean of the Billy Graham School of Evangelism at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
As Dr. Rainer states, there is a high correlation between the health of a church and the implementation of a strong Sunday school type of ministry. (27) We get caught up in the latest or greatest church growth fad and forget that Sunday school has many good things to offer. (26).
One of the strengths of this book is that is draws from the experiences of a variety of pastors in various settings to show how their churches and ministries are thriving as a result of an effective Sunday school ministry.
While this wide variety of perspectives is a positive, I also found it to be a negative in that not all of the settings/situations described will apply to all readers. I found myself reading some chapters more closely while skimming others. Even with this skimming, I came away with an appreciation of how God is using the Sunday school ministry in all settings.
I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to see how they can harness the power of an effective Sunday school to minister to their communities and learn from other experiences. It would be particularly useful as a group study for the leaders charged with the oversight of this ministry.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Academic & Ministry Blog Review Service. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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