By Dan Flournoy

It should be obvious to all that the church is an educational institution. Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me" (John 6:44-45). Only those who learn of Christ can come to Christ! It is only through the gospel that the Father exercises His power to draw lost souls unto Himself. Paul affirmed that all are called to God through the gospel which he preached (2 Thess. 2:14). Indeed, the gospel is "the power of God unto salvation..." (Rom. 1:16).

In giving the Great Commission Jesus commanded, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 18:19-20). Observe, that after making disciples through baptism, there must be a perpetual teaching and grounding in the Savior's teaching. Here is the divine mandate for the Bible School, mid-week service, Gospel Meetings and whatever else may be needed and useful in carrying out the imperative to teach the baptized to do all Christ commanded.

In giving leadership to His church, the Lord also defined the mission of the church. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelist, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ..." (Eph. 4:11-12). It should be noted that apostles and prophets were temporary leaders. They were inspired men who gave us the New Testament (1 Cor. 2:11-14; 1 Cor. 13:8-13). However, evangelists, pastors and teachers are permanent leaders in the church who continually work to equip the saints for the work of ministry. Thus, the mission of the church is not only to preach the gospel to the lost, but also to edify the saved.

The word education is from a Latin word which means "to nourish or nurture." The closest word in the Greek New Testament is oikodome which is translated edification. This word "denotes the act of building (oikos a home, and demo, to build - Vine). Thus, edification is used in a figurative sense to build something up. In this case, the thing being built is the Christian. Thus, Paul admonishes, "Let all things be done for edification" (1 Cor. 14:26).

The Bible School is truly the church at work. It is a way to reach the lost, and develop the saved. It is a planned program for accomplishing worthy spiritual goals: Bible study, evangelism, stewardship and service. Therefore, every Christian should take an active part in the Bible School.
--Dan Flournoy

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Every organization must have clearly defined objectives if it is be successful. The Bible school program of the local church is no exception. Often we find congregations whose leaders have no sense of direction or purpose when it comes to the Bible school. It seems to be just an appendage inherited from those who have gone before. It is something like the appendix in the human body. We don't really know why it is there, so we leave it alone unless it gives us trouble.

We grew up in a congregation that had Sunday morning and Wednesday evening Bible classes. For the most part, we had a positive experience in these classes and we learned a great deal of Biblical material. As we began preaching in various congregations we realized that not all Bible schools are alike. We found many schools in a sad state of disarray. Upon further examination we came to the conclusion that one reason for such a sad state of affairs is a lack of understanding as to the overall purpose of the Bible school program in the first place.

The inspired apostle gave a clear statement of purpose for the work of the church. Consider carefully his teaching in Ephesians 4:11-12:

"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (NKJV).

While apostles and prophets were temporary offices in the church, evangelists, pastors and teachers are permanent. The teaching of the apostles and prophets, given by inspiration, is with us today in the New Testament documents. Evangelists, pastors and teachers are in the church today to carry out the directives given by the apostles and prophets in Scripture. Notice that the purpose of these "gifts" in the church is first, for "the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry and secondly for the edifying of the body of Christ."

With this clearly in mind, let us consider:


1. To help the pupil understand his natural and spiritual condition.

2. To help the pupil know what God has done for him.

3. To help the pupil know what he must do for himself.

4. To help the pupil learn the plan of salvation.

5. To build up attitudes conducive to living the Christian life.

6. After one becomes a Christian, the Bible School trains in responsibilities of:

a. evangelism

b. church membership

c. stewardship

d. application of Christanity in daily life

e. developing Christian character

In addition to these worthy goals, consider:


1. To establish and maintain a well-rounded program of Christian education, with a curriculum designed to give each pupil what he needs when he needs it; to assure each individual going through the school a well-balanced Christian education.

2. To provide a well-qualified teaching staff with teachers who have satisfactorily completed a specified course of study, observation and practice.

3. To provide a well-rounded course of teacher-training and service training to sufficiently prepare teachers and workers to carry out our goals.

4. To enlist every able-bodied member of the congregation in the Bible School.

5. To reach as many as possible from our community who are not members of the Lord's church.

6. To extend the training and teaching program into homes through means of home Bible classes, follow-up literature, correspondence courses and any other means available.

7. To provide opportunities to tie every family of the congregation into the work of the church through teacher-parent meetings, open house or other programs scheduled throughout the year.

8. To encourage better educational practices through "Teacher Workshops" and similar meetings arranged to improve our teaching program.

9. To build an adequate library for the Bible class teacher and for every Christian.

While every congregations is not just exactly like the others, these goals or aims may be adapted to meet the needs of any congregation. Likely, any congregation of the Lord's people can identify with these...


1. To continue to build and maintain an effective working organization of the Bible School with proper administration to accomplish our aims.

2. To continue a sustained teacher training program as well as "in-service" training program and co-teacher system.

3. To secure and maintain proper equipment for the Bible School including projectors, maps, filmstrips, viedeos, etc.

4. Use every means available to constantly impress the congregation with the importance of studying God's Word and supporting the Bible Classes.

We believe that another reason for a floundering educational program is a lack of organization and administration. The Bible school needs to have an organized structure and leadership.


1. The apostle Paul stressed that all things "should be done decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:40).

2. In order to promote harmonious and maximum results for the educational program of the church, it is suggested that a committee be placed over the education program.

3. This committee, under the oversight of the elders, should meet once each month to plan the educational work of the church (Acts 20:17-18; Heb. 13:7,17; 1 Pet. 5:1-2).

4. The committee will make recommendations to the elders for improving the educational program.

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1. The educational director is appointed by and works under the oversight of the elders.

2. He serves as an advisor to the elders regarding the educational program of the church. His responsibilities are as follows:

a. He leads in the coordination of the educational program.

b. He aids in setting goals and aims.

c. He sets up the curriculum for the total educational program.

d. Sees that the program is graded, has variety and unity.

e. Will organize teacher's meetings and workshops.

f. Be responsible for teacher appointments with the elders.

g. Visit and evaluate classes as often as possible.

h. Help select equipment and materials.

i. Keep abreast of all new developments in Christian education.

j. Help teachers reach educational objectives Bible teaching.

k. Help prepare a budget for the educational program.

l. Be an educational consultant for the teachers.

m. See that teachers have proper materials.

n. Meet regularly and report to the elders.

o. Use every available source to constantly impress the congregation with the importance of studying God's word and supporting the Bible classes.

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1. Establish and attend regular meetings to study the entire educational program of the church.

2. Be responsible for the lessons being taught in each class --to see that they are being prepared properly; that they are scriptural and that they are along the prescribed line or curriculum study These tasks may be done chiefly by consulting with the Educational Director who regularly visits the classes.

3. Plan the grading and promotion of pupils, and the keeping of adequate records.

4. Plan an adequate program of teacher and leadership development.

5. Study literature, helps and equipment to be used in the various classes. Know what is being used.

6. Plan expansion needs of the educational work of the church; new classes, room area, and additional workers.

7. Provide a unified program of Christian education for the whole congregation.

8. Plan a budget for the teaching program.

9. Work to educate and encourage the membership to actively participate in the Bible School.

10. Develop plans for VBS, Open House and special events for the Bible School.


1. Work closely with teachers and pupils in assigned division.

2. Be present 20 to 30 minutes before classes begin-both Sunday morning & Wed. night.

3. Before class session: a. Check room-readiness: equipment, arrangement, supplies, cleanness, etc.

b. Greet teachers and early comers, make note of absent or tardy teachers.

c. Supply last minute substitutions.

4. During class session: a. Receive visitors cordially and direct to proper class.

b. Encourage late comers to be quiet.

c. See that teachers are not interrupted during lesson.

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1. Be on time (10 to 20 minutes before class session begins).

2. Attend all teacher's meetings.

3. Attend all services of the church.

4. Attend all teacher training classes possible.

5. Notify proper person when compelled to be absent.

6. Keep good records.

7. Visit absent pupils.

8. Secure prospective pupils.

9. Know the rules of the church on:

a. Class offerings.

b. Use of equipment and its care.

c. Class recreation.

d. Purchasing of needed supplies.

10. Support through the class the overall policies of the elders, or church program. Be cooperative.

11. Make adequate preparation for the class session.

12. Follow definite plan in presentation.

*Acknowledgments to Dr. Thomas L. Campbell

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A. "Organization" is the work of arranging in systematic and orderly fashion the Bible School work for progression and growth.

B. "Administration" is the work of setting policies and determining the Bible School program. It deals with problems, finance, space organization, curriculum and material qualities, etc.

C. "Supervision" is the work of overseeing -- to take a worker and help him do his task. It has to do with planning a program for improvement.

D. "Management" is the work of carrying out the policies, such as the heads of different areas: superintendent, coordinator, etc.


A. Organization and administration carry the idea of order, plan and direction.

1. God is a God of order (1 Cor. 14:33).

a. Order in the creation and maintenance of the universe.

b. Scheme of redemption shows order.

c. The church (body of Christ) shows order.

2. Lack of accomplishment in many places due to a lack of system, order or cooperation.

B. Consider Some Areas of Failure

1. No one assigned to organize, systematize and direct,

2. or one appointed holds his position in name only,

3. or lacks knowledge of his responsibilities,

4. or has had no training,

5. or lacks ability,

6. or fails to receive cooperation and support.


A. Produces logical arrangement which meets the needs of a particular congregation to produce spiritual and numerical growth.

B. Best way to utilize energy, money, students and interest.

C. Organization depends on the size, number and training of workers and number and background of pupils. Larger numbers demand more organization.

D. Christ provided for organization under the elders to feed, exhort, convict, oversee, rule, be obeyed, and take care of the church. : (Acts 20:17,28; 1 Tim. 3:4-5; 5:17; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:1-3).

1. Congregations without elders can still organize their work.

2. Who should be in charge of the educational program?

a. One of the elders.

b. A deacon.

c. One of the members.

d. Employ someone with special training.

e. Educational committee.

A Workable Organization

Educations Committee
Pre-School Coordinator -- Primary Coordinator -- Junior Coordinator -- Teen Coordinator -- Adult Coordinator

Teachers -- Teachers -- Teachers --Teachers

E. Why this organization?

1. Stimulates more thinking, planning, and work.

2. Carries more weight because a recommendation is made by more than one.

3. Promotes cooperative work.

4. Cuts down the "selling" problem for anything new.

5. Problem of communication is partly solved.

6. Helps in problem solving:

a. Identify the problem

b. Suggest possible solutions

c. Select the best possible solution

d. Implement the solution

e. Evaluate the results.

*Acknowledgments to Dr. Thomas L. Campbell



I.          Some laws of Bible school growth.

A.                 Classes reach their maximum growth or saturation point in 18 to 24 months.

B.                 New classes produce the most substantial growth.

C.                 New classes are difficult to start unless a grading plan is followed.

D.                 New classes help existing classes to grow in enrollment and attendance.

E.                  The enrollment increases in direct proportion to the number of teachers, co-teachers, supervisors and workers in the Bible school in a ration of 10 to 1.

F.                  The attendance increase is in direct proportion to number of visits made.


            (Since these laws are true, every church should study them and apply them to the local situation.)


            Most Bible schools have already reached the saturation point in their growth.  They may keep adding names without actually growing.  When the differential between the average attendance and the enrollment begins to increase, the saturation point has been reached.  Here and there some growth can be made, but the greatest growth must come from the organization of new teaching units.


            Therefore, if our Bible school is to grow, we must provide more classes, more departments, more places to meet, and develop more workers.


II.                 Securing attendance

A.                 Have the best possible goal.

B.                 Have a common attendance goal.

C.                 Care for the absentees - visit.

D.                 Surround the pupils with friendship.

E.                  Make the classroom attractive.

F.                  Secure home cooperation.

G.                 Send quarterly reports home.

H.                 Recognize achievement.

I.                    Avoid contests and rewards (material).

J.                   Continue in prayer.


III.               Detriments to attendance building.

A.                 Teacher problem.

B.                 Lack of Christian spirit.

C.                 Poor organization.

D.                 Crowded conditions.

E.                  Failure to win for Christ.

F.                  Failure to deal with spiritual problems of the pupils.

G.                 Teacher not prepared.



IV.              Building a prospect list.

A.                 Compare the church membership roll with the rolls of the BS classes.

B.                 Examine vacation and weekday church school records.

C.                 Keep a continuous record of marriages and births.

D.                 Follow-up visitors who have recently moved to the community.

E.                  Ask for permission to use the lists of religious preference of pupils gathered by some schools.

F.                  Visit city and county institutions, orphanages, homes for aged, hospitals, prisons and colleges.

G.                 Take a religious census.


If you would like to contribute to our work, please make your check payable to:

Church of Christ

and mail it to,

Handley Church of Christ,
3029 Handley Drive,
Fort Worth, Texas 76112-6730.

Mark the envelope, "For Flournoy Fund."

Your support is deeply appreciated!

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