Sunday School New Birth Stories

Monday 2nd April, 2007

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I never grow tired of hearing stories about new class births. More often than not the stories are classes that reach new people and grow. As an encouragement to others, I wanted to share a couple of the stories that have been shared with me in the last couple of weeks:

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, LONE OAK (PADUCAH). Howard Fuller said, "We birthed a new class fall of ’06 for empty nesters.  We began with a very good teacher, his wife, and a leadership team of four couples.  The mother class and leadership team of the new class prayed for a month before the class was birthed. A list of empty nesters that were church members but not Sunday School members, was given to the leadership team of the new class. Phone calls and personal notes were sent inviting these folks to attend on the first Sunday. The first Sunday there were 22 in attendance. One man was there that had not been in church for 30 years. He has only missed a few times sense the beginning of the class. Another man attended who had not been in Sunday School for over 20 years. He has remained very faithful as well. New classes reach new people."

ZION BAPTIST CHURCH, HENDERSON. Doug Hamblin said, "We have a class that used to average 50. The age range was from late 20’s to late 70’s.  We tried to get the teacher and class to start another class(es). I had several members say they would prefer a smaller class but did not want to hurt the teacher’s feelings. I courted some key members within that class (deacons) about starting a class. Eventually one guy said he would teach a class opposite the hour the mother class met. When we started the new class, those who expressed wanting a smaller class followed this teacher to the new class. Not long after, the other key member I was courting decided to do the same thing. AND, another member of the mother class (a FAITH team leader) said he would like to start a class for younger adults (the late 20’s to mid 30’s). Long story short, three classes have been started out of the mother class. Here are last Sunday’s numbers of all three new classes plus the mother class:  23, 11, 19, and 37. When the mother class used to average 50, all four classes combined had 90 in attendance.

And get this, the teacher of the very first, class birthed out of the mother class went into the mother class Sunday and thanked them for allowing him to start a class. He pointed out that three new classes had been started from the mother class. They should take pride in that. Then, he went on to say that the class that he leads was going to start another class and that the mother class should start another, too. Amazing.

Oh, yeah, I learned this from Jonathan Propes and Angus McKinley: Every time a new class starts, I have a blown up stork in the hallway, a birth announcement, a birthday cake or cupcakes for both new class and mother class, and balloons or something at the door of the new class that points out the birth. We also have a room we use for training that I am thinking about calling the maternity ward with a sign that says, “Please be quiet, babies are being born.” I know it is not typical, but it has worked thus far. I also give the new teachers, our philosophy of Sunday school, teacher expectations, the importance of being a Biblical teacher, and a suggested class structure all in a nice binder. It is very much Allan Taylor-like (First Baptist, Woodstock, GA), but why mess with a proven strategy. Two new classes are in the pipeline: Soon ly weds and Newlyweds; and a younger men's (possibly single). I have the teachers, just haven’t set a date or have the core yet."

Do you have a story to share? Press the comments button below and encourage others who will read your story. Revolutionary Sunday School works! Starting new classes works. Be revolutionary!

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