Sunday School & the Great Commission

Dear Church Family,

One of the main goals or missions of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. This purpose is given to us by the resurrected Jesus, Himself, in the final verses of Matthew’s Gospel, typically called the Great Commission:

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)

 

The commission itself is framed by Jesus’ declaration of His own sovereignty (“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth”) and His promise to His church (“and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”). The commission (or command) is to go and “make disciples” of all the nations by baptizing in the Triune name of God, and teaching them to observe all that Jesus has commanded.

A disciple is more than just a learner or a student; he or she is also a follower. Thus, Jesus commands His church to make disciples through baptizing (administering the mark of a disciple) and teaching (instruction toward obedience). Leon Morris comments on verse 20:

Baptism is not the be-all and end-all; it is no more than the beginning. The new disciple is to be baptized, but he or she is also to be taught ‘to observe all the things I have commanded you.’ The church’s teaching function is thus of great importance. We teach because Jesus commanded us to teach, and there is no way of diminishing the importance of an activity that owes is origin to the command of our Lord himself. But Jesus is not speaking about education for education’s sake. He speaks of the taught as ‘observing’ what Jesus has commanded. In other words, Jesus is concerned with a way of life.

 

Sunday School

Sunday school is an important part of the teaching, and thus disciple-making, aspects of the ministry of our church. As our summer break has concluded, this coming Sunday (September 13th), Sunday school at Providence Presbyterian Church will begin again. Classes are from 9:00-10:00 am for all ages with the following teachers (special thanks to Paul & Kathryn Wheeler who have taken on the responsibility of organizing and recruiting teachers for our Sunday school program this year):

Nursery (3 yr old and under)………...Rotating schedule

Preschool (4-5 yr old).……………….Kathryn Wheeler

Lower Elementary (1st-2nd grade)…….Rachel Berkhouse

Upper Elementary (3rd-5th grade)…….Justin & Hannah O'Shay

Middle School (6th-8th grade)………..Clay Finley

High School (9th-12th grade)………....Greg Eddings & Seth Covington

Adult……………………………...…Peter Dietsch

 

The adult Sunday school class will be on “The Word of God Written.” We will examine the reliability of the Holy Scriptures, incorporating a DVD series by Dr. Timothy Paul Jones called How We Got the Bible. The high school class will be studying the Westminster Shorter Catechism using G.I. Williamson’s The Westminster Shorter Catechism: For Study Classes. The remainder of the classes will be using the Great Commission Publications curriculum. You will want to bring your Bible, but all other materials needed for the class will be provided.

Conclusion

I encourage and exhort every member (and visitor) to attend Sunday school and participate in this important aspect of our church’s disciple-making ministry. It is a great way to learn and grow in the faith, and it is a wonderful opportunity to get to know others in the church. Speaking of getting to know others in the church, immediately following our worship service this Sunday, we will also have our monthly fellowship meal (online announcement and sign-up is available here).

Just to keep it simple, here is what we have to look forward to this coming Sunday, September 13th:

9:00 am – Sunday School for all ages
10:30 am – Worship service
12:15 pm – Fellowship meal 

I look forward to seeing you this coming Lord’s Day!

The Lord be with you!
- Pastor Peter M. Dietsch