Ten Values of Monthly Sunday School Fellowships

Saturday 17th February, 2007

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Josh Hunt is correct when he says, "Parties don't just happen. Someone must make them happen" (You Can Double Your Class in Two Years or Less, p. 74). Parties require planning and work. They take time and effort. Someone must make decisions or lead the group to make decisions. Parties cost money.

I have noticed over time, many classes begin to plan fewer and fewer times of fellowship. Frequently, parties are planned monthly for the first year, and then every other month and then quarterly and then almost never. One of the reasons it becomes difficult to sustain regular fellowship times according to Josh is that "Planning effective parties is hard work....Sooner or later, all good ideas degenerate into hard work" (p. 74).

But fellowship times can be well worth the time, cost, and effort. Sometimes classes need reminders about the value of parties. They need to understand the benefits anew. Challenge your class with these ten values of offering a monthly fellowship:

  • sustains relationships with regular attenders,
  • allows inactive members to re-engage in relationships with other members,
  • introduces guests to having fun with a group of Christians,
  • helps attenders to get to know one another in new ways,
  • leads to a deepening of relationships and trust,
  • increases assimilation and attendance frequency,
  • gives attenders opportunities to become involved in the class on a deeper level by planning or hosting a fellowship,
  • gives guests a small picture of the group before Sunday morning,
  • keeps regular attenders in the habit of inviting absentees and guests, and
  • leads to affinity-discovery which results in relationship-connection around common interests.

Because of my work schedule, my wife and I are not able to attend the fellowships planned by our class every month. But we sure like to be invited. From my observation, I would say that there are different individuals who participate every time the group gets together. With less frequent fellowship times, some in our class might not ever make it to a fellowship time.

A sign up sheet was passed around the class to sign up to host a fellowship. The list had the twelve months of the year with a space for a name. Hosts did not have to have the group in their home. Hosts could plan a trip, a bowling party, a project, or eating out. This increased the participation since some may not have had a home that was adequate for the group. This idea spreads out some of the work by getting more participation in the planning and creativity.

The results of planning monthly class fellowships are well worth the time, cost, and effort. Pray. Plan. Invite regulars, inactives, and guests every month. Fellowship. Connect. Be revolutionary!

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