Only 17% of church attenders participate in Sunday School, bible study or any learning event other than worship.

D. Research shows that only 17% of church attenders participate in Sunday School, bible study or any learning event other than worship.[1] Thom Rainer believes that a properly organized, high quality Sunday School class can function as effectively as cells in maturing disciples.[2] Jesus said that those who continue in the word are truly His disciples (John 8:31). Use of the Prayer Tool can help a Sunday School class make disciples by organizing prayerful, relational networking to bring new people into the learning environment of the class.


2.1 JOURNAL: Record your reflections and document your answers to the Questions for a Better Understanding found on page 139 with regard to this module.

[1]George Barna, quoted in Greg Ogden, Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples A Few At A Time (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 26.

[2]Thom Rainer, Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 46-47. Sunday School groups need to balance their focus on learning in class with fellowship activities which build relationships. Each class should consider a monthly fellowship gathering to which prospective members could be invited. This can be organized as an activity of the class or persons gifted in hospitality could just begin to invite others to gather together for fellowship. Fellowship events build a bridge from outside the church into the class. Don’t be surprised if it takes a while for class members to begin to invite outsiders to these events; old habits change slowly. Don’t forget the 83% of worship attenders that are not a part of any class.





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

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