Sunday School... Are You Serious?

In the book “High Expectations,” Thom Rainer spent over 2 years interviewing over 500 evangelical churches trying to assess the main points of assimilation.  From his findings he states, “Although expository preaching was rated the highest single factor in our earlier study on evangelistic churches, we were surprised to discover that it was strongly correlated to the back door.  Indeed in this study, expository preaching was second only to Sunday School among the methodologies that are effective in assimilation.”[1] 
            Not only is the Sunday morning worship service an obvious and practical starting point of assimilation but according to Rainer it is the 2nd best option for assimilation.  In thinking about the Worship Service, everything we do is not to appease or pragmatically acquire new members.  Rather everything that we do is in service to the Word, for it is Christ who does His work through the Word.  Therefore, the purpose of having ushers is simply to allow people to be put at ease in finding a comfortable seat, etc… so that they may not have any distractions in hearing the Word.  Furthermore, the reason why the church looks for order in the worship service is not to be legalistic nor to do it out of motive of serving God but good order is present to serve our neighbor, so that they are not distracted from hearing the Word.  Therefore, practical assimilation happens when the church body, whether it is the ushers, sound booth operators and/or worship leaders are all in an attitude of serving their neighbor so that they might be able to hear the Word and be assimilated into the unchanging truths of scripture.
            Practically speaking assimilation happens as each part of the body does its own calling/work in the worship service so that the ministry of the Word can take place. 
            From the context of the Word and the spoken news of Forgiveness, fellowship then flows outward.  It isn’t that fellowship is not important, rather fellowship and friendship flow out of the context of the Word of God; for we unite together into Christ and our brotherhood is based not on personalities but the ministry of Christ to us.[2] 

[1] Thom Rainer, High Expectations: The Remarkable Secret for Keeping People in Your Church (B&H Publishing, 1999), 16.
[2] See Galatians 3:28