The biggest things come from the smallest things. Think about it. The smallest functional unit of the body is the cell. Cells are formed into tissue, tissue into organs, organs into systems, systems into bodies. The smallest unit of a society is the family. A kingdom is only as strong as the loyalty of the subjects. Again, the most elaborate strategy is predicated upon attention to the detail of the basics. This list of examples could go on and on.
It makes sense that the health of things on a large scale will be, and is, determined by health at the smaller level. It plays out in life every day. So it is in the life of a believer in Christ. So it is true in the work of the church. We must give attention to the small things to see results on a larger scale in our life, and in the church as a whole.
Daily devotion, continued obedience and intentional life on life relationships of accountability, encouragement and influence with those rough, messed up, strange and imperfect people, both inside and outside the church. It is work that is not easy, but it is meaningful, rewarding and vital.
It is important to understand the church must do good work at the smallest levels to accomplish what it needs to accomplish. If we do not make vital connections to Jesus, His truth, His community and His mission in the world, then we have missed the point. The truth is that all of these important things can be accomplished—are most effectively accomplished—in the life of the church through Sunday School or small group ministry.
Good Sunday School work is simply good small group work. The converse is also true. The small group environment puts us into immediate contact with Jesus, His truth, his community and His mission in the world. These are the things followers of Christ are to be and do. A church must do good small group work to be healthy at the larger level.
So, you can ignore work at the smallest, most foundational levels of life and ministry, but you will end up with a shell that appears like all the pieces are in place when, in reality, it is fragile, not able to bear the weight of life and Truth. It’s like settling for one of those cheap hollow bunnies at Easter that are made up of the gross chocolate. Who are we kidding? We would often rather shortcut or circumnavigate real relational work than invest time in the areas that are most important and that would give us the most lasting results. We sacrifice actual for artificial health because we avoid health at the smallest levels.
Don’t sacrifice substance for surface. Focus in on the basics. Hammer down on the fundamentals. Commit to feed the four vital connections. Understand that the direct line to these connections most of us have in our churches is the Sunday School or small group ministry. Highlight the smallest functional units of your church as the means to accomplish the work of the church.
ReConnect Sunday School is not just about re-connecting to Sunday School, re-emphasizing a program or revitalizing a ministry. It is about the people of God re-connecting their lives and others to the vital work of the life of a believer and of the church and using small group connections as the primary way to accomplish that work. Want to be healthy? Think small.