Today, everyone is busy. In the face of such busyness, what can we do to grow the class (spiritually and numerically) that God has entrusted to us? How can we work smarter (and even harder when required) and ensure that we will be more likely to realize results (growth)? In Part 1 of this six-part series, I shared 37 class growth actions. In Part 2, I shared the first eight of those 37 actions along with a some brief comments about each one. In Part 3, I will explore the next eight actions:
- USE A VARIETY OF TEACHING METHODS. Discover the preferred learning styles of attenders. Then choose teaching methods which best communicate the truth of the scripture to the people God has entrusted to you. Get them involved and they will learn more. In fact, if you can lead them to say and do what you have taught, they will retain 90% of that teaching in 72 hours. And remember, our object is to lead them to obey/do what Jesus commanded (Great Commission). Check out Generating Excitement about Learning in Sunday School, Part 1, Moving Adults Toward Deeper Levels of Learning in Sunday School, Crafting a Sunday School Lesson to Lead to Learning AND Action, Planning an Adult Sunday School Learning Experience, Improve Learning Retention in Sunday School, and Learning Styles in Adult Sunday School.
- LAUNCH EVERY LESSON WITH ICEBREAKERS. If you get attenders talking early in the lesson, they will be much more likely to participate later when you deeper issues and application is laid before them. One way to accomplish this is through icebreakers, which are comfortable, easy-to-answer questions that everyone gets an opportunity to answer either to the whole group or in pairs or in smaller groups. Check out Five Suggestions for Using Icebreakers Well in Sunday School/Small Groups, Using Icebreakers Purposefully in Sunday School/Small Groups, Nine Reasons to Use Icebreakers in Sunday School/Small Groups, and Hooks: Launching Powerful Sunday School Lessons.
- ENCOURAGE PURSUIT OF DISCIPLE GROWTH IN OTHER VENUES. Sunday School is a significant help for a Christian to grow as a disciple. But by itself, Sunday School is not enough. A disciple will grow best when attendance in Sunday School is accompanied by participation in discipleship and leadership courses, worship, serving out of his/her spiritual gifts and passion, and in ministry projects. Check out Steve Rice's blog, 28Nineteen, for additional disciple ship and assimilation suggestions.
- LEAD ATTENDERS TO PRACTICE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES. Sunday School should be a community in which every believer learns how to do personal and corporate prayer and Bible study. Sometimes the personal is neglected. In addition, other spiritual disciplines should be encouraged by the class. Check out Sunday School Supporting Spiritual Disciplines, Part 1 and the other three parts of the series.
- SET GOD-SIZED GOALS FOR CONTACTS, GUESTS, ATTENDANCE, AND ENROLLMENT. You don't have to pray about whether the Lord wants you to reach more people; He has already commanded it (Matthew 28:19-20). So pray about how many He wants you to reach and provide care for Him. Set a goal, divide it by quarter or month, and then plan actions which will lead your class to pursue those goals. Check out 5 Goals for Sunday School Growth This Year, Set God-Sized Goals for Sunday School Growth, Increasing Sunday School Class Attendance, Part 1, and Sunday School Contacts Make a Difference!.
- HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR SPIRITUAL AND NUMERICAL GROWTH. God deserves our best efforts, not second best. As a result, leaders should also have high expectations of attenders and hold them positively accountable to carry out the work of the class. These expectations should be communicated clearly and regularly. Check out Raise Expectations for Sunday School Leaders, High-Expectation Sunday School, Raising Sunday School Expectations without Losing Your Hair, Expectations of Adult Members in Sunday School, and High Expectations Are Necessary for Sunday School’s Mutiny Against Mediocrity.
- USE NAME TAGS. Name tags help members remember each other's names better. They help us get to know guests by name, and help guests get to know our names. And name tags can even be used to identify absentees (by looking at the ones not picked up that day). Check out Be Revolutionary! Wear Name Tags in Sunday School.
- PRACTICE THE OPEN CHAIR. Leave one open chair in the middle of the class. Point to it early and remind attenders that Jesus has promised to be in the midst of two or three gathered in His name. Then at the end of the Bible study hour, point to the empty chair again and ask attenders who the Lord has laid upon their hearts to invite to fill the chair next week. Both a recognition of His presence and obedience to pursue the lost sheep (John 10:16) is essential for class growth.
For the other parts of this series, check here:
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 1 li>
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 2
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 4
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 5
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 6