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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

2004 Conversations

2003 Conversations

Joy Williams: Rooted in Grace (December 29, 2002)

Judy Rachels: Christmas gifts (December 22, 2002)

Ralph Carmichael: New music for a timeless message (December 15, 2002)

Roger and Greg Flessing: Media, ministry and society's ungodly messages (December 8, 2002)

Rick Salvato: Meeting medical and spiritual needs around the world (November 24, 2002)

Asa Hutchinson: Drug Enforcement's top officer (November 17, 2002)

Bill Bright: 'Not I, but Christ' (November 10, 2002)

Ray Berryhill: Living by faith (October 20, 2002)

Owen C. Carr: Reading through the Bible 92 times (October 13, 2002)

Curtis Harlow: Combating campus drinking (September 29, 2002)

Wes Bartel: Making Sunday count (September 22, 2002)

M. Wayne Benson: The Holy Spirit knocks (September 15, 2002)

Dr. Richard Dobbins: Understanding Suffering (September 8, 2002)

K.R. Mele: Halloween evangelism (August 25, 2002)

Roland Blount: God makes a way for blind missionary (August 18, 2002)

Cal Thomas: Finding a mission field (August 11, 2002)

Lisa Ryan: For such a time as this (July 28, 2002)

Dallas Holm: Faith and prayer in life’s toughest times (July 21, 2002)

Paul Drost: Intentional church planting (July 14, 2002)

James M. Inhofe: Serving Christ in the Senate (June 30, 2002)

Karen Kingsbury: The Write stuff (June 23, 2002)

Michael W. Smith: Worship is how you live each day (June 16, 2002)

Wayne Stayskal: On the drawing board (June 9, 2002)

Fory VandenEinde: Anyone can minister (May 26, 2002)

Thomas E. Trask: Pentecost Sunday (May 19, 2002)

Stormie Omartian: Recovering from an abusive childhood (May 12, 2002)

Luis Carrera: Beyond the Shame (April 28, 2002)

Tom Greene: The church of today (April 21, 2002)

Philip Bongiorno: Wisdom for a younger generation (April 14, 2002)

Deborah M. Gill: Christian education and discipleship (March 24, 2002)

Norma Champion: Becoming involved in politics (February 24, 2002)

Steve Pike: A candid discussion about Mormonism (February 10, 2002)

Raymond Berry: More to life than football (January 27, 2002)

Sanctity of Human Life roundtable: Doctors speak out (January 20, 2002)

Chaplain Charles Marvin: Ministering in the military (January 13, 2002)

2001 Conversations

Making Sunday count

(September 22, 2002)

Wes Bartel, director of the national Sunday School Department of the Assemblies of God, recently talked with Sunday School Promotions Coordinator Sharon Ellard about Sunday school today.

PE: What can a person expect to find in Sunday school today?

BARTEL: You can expect to develop lasting friendships. In Sunday school, you will learn to live a better life — God’s way. Sunday school provides biblical answers to the tough questions of life. It should be a place where you discover a divine purpose for living. Obviously, you will explore God’s Word and discover truth. You should also find in Sunday school an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance. Above all, Sunday school should be a place where you encounter God.

PE: What difference does attending Sunday school make for adults?

BARTEL: An effective Sunday school class is geared not only for information but also for life change. The small-group setting of Sunday school provides accountability, systematic Bible study that helps us think like Christ, and opportunities for ministry.

PE: What can parents expect their children to learn in Sunday school?

BARTEL: The Bible instructs us: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). The age-level classes of Sunday school help parents begin their child’s spiritual growth from birth. A systematic study of the Bible prepares children to make biblical choices every day at home, at play and at school. Lessons also seek to lead every child to a personal relationship with Christ at an early age, followed by being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

PE: Is Sunday school still relevant for today’s youth?

BARTEL: Sunday school is probably more relevant for youth than it has ever been. Young people are confronted with diverse religions, decadent lifestyles and unbounded consumerism. In this setting, suicide has become one of the leading causes of death among teenagers. The unchanging truth of the Bible brings hope and stability. Knowing and believing the Bible provides unchanging principles to strengthen their relationships with Christ and request the power of the Holy Spirit.

PE: Describe a high-quality Sunday school.

BARTEL: Sunday school has the potential to change lives, but it’s not automatic. A high-quality Sunday school has been intentionally developed. It includes committed teachers who not only are well trained and have a passion for evangelism and discipleship but also depend on the power of the Holy Spirit. Its Bible learning is supported by curriculum that is both cutting edge and doctrinally sound, like Radiant Life. Its lesson plans are tailored for students’ learning styles and life stage. It promotes an atmosphere that makes learning enjoyable and life changing.

PE: How does Sunday school contribute to the spiritual health of a church?

BARTEL: It provides a place where teaching, discipleship, ministry, fellowship and evangelism can all take place. Research shows that Sunday school is the single most effective assimilation tool the church has.

PE: What do you see as the role of Sunday school in a post-9/11 world?

BARTEL: The role has not changed. Most of us will never forget the heroic act of Todd Beamer after he said, "Let’s roll!" Todd grew up in Sunday school, and he and his wife, Lisa, were Sunday school teachers. The kind of stability that allowed Todd to act with courage in a crisis and helped him to live a consistent Christian life was a direct result of effective discipleship. It’s encouraging to me that people in the United States have confidence in Sunday school. Sunday school attendance increased by 6 percent in 2001, according to George Barna. That means more than 2 million more people began to attend Sunday school last year.


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