Comparing Revolutionary and Mediocre Sunday School

Monday 21st January, 2008

Let's do a quick physics lesson. Newton's first law of motion states that a body at rest tends to stay at rest while a body in motion tends to stay in motion traveling at a constant speed and in a straight line until acted upon by an outside force. An example of the body at rest can be seen when a bus suddenly starts forward, the passengers lurch backwards.

Mediocre Sunday School tends to be a body at rest. There are little to no forces at play to exert any change on it. There is little or no movement forward. What are some of the differences between mediocre Sunday School and revolutionary Sunday School? Consider some of the differences in the following table:

Difference Areas Mediocre Sunday School Revolutionary Sunday School
Vision Missing or about survival Sought through prayer; about carrying out the Great Commission
Leadership About maintenance About change, growth, and accomplishing God's will
Staffing Understaffed; not enough teachers and leaders Staffed for growth; at least one worker for every five attenders
Prospects No or poor records kept; "they know where we are" Great records; intentional prayer, ministry, and outreach; contact information considered to be "gold"
New Workers Same teachers/workers for years About 1/3 to 1/2 new workers in last 5 years
New Classes Only when classes have to be combined Intentionally added yearly and as needed
Training Nothing planned; cannot get them to attend Multiple opportunities planned; attendance expected
Planning Only when there are problems Annual and monthly to check on progress and people
Teaching About teaching them to "know"; for knowledge About teaching them to "obey"; for life-change
Outreach Seldom invite people; no one in charge Assigned leader in every class; contacts/visits made weekly
Lost people "We don't know any" Pray for and invite them to homes, fellowships, class, and worship
Space Have extra unused Often run out and have to be creative in providing needed spaces
Enrollment Try to have a high percentage present each week Try to add more people to pray for, minister to, and invite to Bible study each week
Fellowships "We already know each other" Planned monthly to get acquainted with new people and to reintegrate absentees


Take the above list. Check areas which are more descriptive of your Sunday School. Which side got more checks? What steps can you take to begin to move more toward revolutionary Sunday School? What other differences would you identify as areas of difference? Press Comments below to leave your thoughts to stretch more Sunday School leaders toward revolutionary Sunday School. What can you do to interrupt the body at rest in your Sunday School? What can you do to start it in motion? Don't be mediocre! Be revolutionary!

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