Three Easy Steps for Revolutionary Sunday School Change

Wednesday 2nd January, 2008

In Josh Hunt's New Year's newsletter, he wrote about taking the next step in multiplying groups. He is praying for and seeking a doubling groups movement. He closed his newsletter with three easy-to-understand steps to accomplish this: Model it. Teach it. Reward it. These three steps work!

But they not only work related to doubling group, the three steps work also in making needed revolutionary change in our Sunday Schools. What change is needed in your Sunday School this year? Take a few minutes to list them on paper. Then, prioritize them--which is most important and/or should be done first? Which is second?

If you want to create ownership of addressing need for change in your Sunday School, gather your leadership for a couple of hours or more. Ask them to come prayerfully planning to evaluate and plan the work for year ahead. Then ask them to do the same. Lead them to evaluate your current Sunday School status, progress, and needs. Then lead them to identify the place to start--the priority for present efforts.

After you have identified your priorities, consider the following questions:

  • MODEL IT. How can you model the change in a way that it will be understood? How can you model it in a promotional/teaching venue as well as in action/practice? How can you model it for leaders and/or members? How can you model it so they understand how needed the change is? How can you model it so that people understand that the change is possible?  Example:  The priority you identified was the need for greeters in all adult classes. Talk about a class that is already doing this. Have the greeter share about his/her experience. (If you don't have one already at work, enlist one early so you can use it as an example/model.) You can also gather your adult teachers and workers together and do a drama of the responsibilities of a class greeter. You share the drama in worship in order to ask the congregation to pray for those who will be enlisted as greeters. Take a leadership team to another church to see greeters in action. Put together a video presentation of a greeter doing the job well.
  • TEACH IT. How can you teach the change to your leaders and/or members? How can you teach them to understand the process and elements of the change? How can you teach the change in a variety of methods and venues so that it is reinforced and understood? How can you catch their attention through teaching it so that they get it? Example: With the same priority of greeters, gather your teachers and workers and talk about this important work. Share articles. Talk about it from the pulpit. Talk about it in leadership meetings. Make posters. Send out e-mail information. Write a job description. Print it in the newsletter. Set up training for the newly-enlisted greeters. Gather the greeters a while after implementation to have them share testimonies.
  • REWARD IT. How can you affirm the early adopters? How can you reward those who implement the change? How can you reward those who have success with the change? How can you bring attention to progress in large venues? How can you reward progress privately? Example:  Again, with greeters, acknowledge classes who enlist their greeters and submit their names on time. Affirm those classes. Thank the enlisted greeters personally. Make name tags for these greeters. Plan a celebration/training time for the launch of these greeters. Catch a greeter doing a good job and thank them privately. Share testimonies of successes in leadership meetings. Share successes in worship as a thank you for the congregation's prayer.
Model it. Teach it. Reward it. Simple and yet powerful! Identify needs. Prioritize. Make plans to model, teach, and rewar d the change that is needed. Don't go another minute with mediocre Sunday School. Be revolutionary!

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