How do you move scared and apathetic class members toward inviting lost and unenrolled people to Sunday School? My two word answer is patient leadership. Are you willing to lead your class? Are you willing to do so patiently? If so, I want to offer you twelve steps which work. In Part 1, we will examine the first six steps.
STEP ONE: Pray. You pray first and then lead your class to pray. Pray together for at least a month prior to taking step two. Pray for the people group of your class. Lead the class each to pray for 3 lost people by name. Pray for identifying, reaching out, caring, sharing with, and enrolling people. Pray for their salvation.
STEP TWO: Develop a prospect care list. Pray. Ask for names of FRANs: friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors who are in the people group assignment for your class. Determine a plan for making regular contacts (2-4 times per month for each person). Focusing on the top 5 or 10 may make your group more intentional.
STEP THREE: Plan a fellowship or project. Gather a planning team. Pray. Keep in mind the goal of inviting prospects. Make the event fun and easy to get acquainted. Communicate the plan to the class, including the goal to invite FRANs. Teacher announces that his/her prospect will attend.
STEP FOUR: Make phone calls/visits. Pray before making contacts. During calls/visits: introduce yourself, your class, and your church. Then invite them to the fellowship/project. Offer transportation. Ask how you can pray for them and their family. Then pray together.
STEP FIVE: Send electronic reminders. Pray before making contacts. Send last-minute reminders inviting them to the fellowship or project. Include date, time, place, and your offer of transportation. Mention your class name and church.
STEP SIX: Conduct the fellowship/project. Pray before anyone arrives. Welcome all guests but introduce them privately. Ask members to pay special attention to their guests. Before the fellowship/project ends, the teacher thanks and invites everyone to class. Members follow up with their guests quickly.
In Part 2, we will look at the next six steps that continue to build on these important early efforts. The next six help to build the culture and structure for this effort to continue past the fellowship or project. Keep in mind that a class that stops inviting is planning to die. Lead. Pray. Invite. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!
For more ideas about reaching out, check out these posts:
- Leading My Sunday School Class to Reach Out
- Sunday School Reaching out to the Community
- Yes, You Can Grow Your Sunday School by Age-Grading
- Steps Toward a Sunday School Outreach Lifestyle
- Confronting Excuses for Classes Not Reaching Out, Part 1
- Don’t Throw Away Leftover Sunday School Literature; Share It! Part 1
- Creating Sunday School Class Outreach Momentum
- Sunday School Partnering Together with Vacation Bible School