RYM 062: Sunday School Or Small Groups

Is a small groups model better than a Sunday school model? And should your church really consider a shift from Sunday school to small groups? This week, join some of the Orange students team for a candid conversation all about the benefits and drawbacks of both Sunday school and small group strategies, and how to tell whether or not it’s time for your ministry to make a shift.


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  • When you think of Sunday School, what do you think of? (3:00)
  • Is there a different need to be met now from the original need for Sunday School? (8:45)
  • It all comes down to strategy. (18:30)
  • You can have a small groups strategy with Sunday school characteristics. (20:00)
  • Regardless of what you call it, the desired outcomes of Sunday school and small groups are the same for leaders and students. (20:00)
  • The only way to know a teenager is to actually know them. (24:30)
  • If a student remembers how you made them feel, there’s a much better chance they’ll remember what you taught them. (30:00)
  • Good ministry is messy. Shef (33:45)




Resource: The Orange Conference 

Resource: XP3 Partners Facebook group 

Resource: Rethinking Youth Ministry Women’s Network 

Resource: The Phase Project 

Book: Lead Small

Book: Creating a Lead Small Culture 

Resource: Sample Small Group Guide 

Email: Brett@thinkorange.com

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We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and this episode! To join the conversation, leave us a comment here on our episode page or in our Facebook Group. Not a member of our Facebook Group yet? Click the button below to join!




Brett is an XP3 Orange Specialist with Orange after spending 11 years in full time ministry. He’s been married to his amazing wife since 2004. They have three amazing and hilarious kids who constantly keep them busy and laughing. He loves baseball, golf and makes amazing turkey melt sandwiches (if he has the time and ingredients, otherwise they’re just average).



Ashley Bohinc serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange, co-host of The Think Orange Podcast, and co-author of The Art of Group Talk. She’s worked with students in public education, athletic, and ministry settings since 2005. Ashley is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating onstage, developing leaders, working with students, and engaging in world missions. Additionally, she’s the USA Director of Carry 117. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.



Tom Shefchunas is the Executive Director of Student Strategy at Orange. In this role, he leads the development and strategy for XP3 Middle School and High School curriculum. Previously, Tom was North Point Ministries’ Multi-Campus Director of Transit, their middle school ministry, for 12 years. And before that, he spent 10 years as a high school teacher, coach, and principal. Additionally, he is the co-author of Lead Small with Reggie Joiner. Tom and his wife, Julie, live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey, and Cooper.



Candice Wynn currently serves as an Orange Students Specialist. After graduating from Florida A&M University and the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Candice became an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Since then, she has served as both a Youth and Next Generation Pastor for over 13 years in the Southeast. Candice is infatuated with all things urban and artsy.  As such, she and her husband, Maxim, often spend their weekends creating graffiti art, baking cupcakes with their two children, Mason and Sunni, or sneaking off for a date—when they can find a sitter.

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Orange Conference 2018