I receive newsletters from many persons and organizations. Some of these include Josh Hunt, Building Church Leaders, ABF Resources, Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox, mission updates, and many others. One of the newsletters is from Curt Gunz of Great Commission Resources. In his most recent newsletter he states the following:
The Wrong Question: How do I get my church to grow? God gives growth. You don't. Your job is not to force growth but to make sure you are doing everything you can to remove limits from what God wants to do. When you think growth is your all responsibility, you will make bad decisions.
The Right Question: What is keeping my church from growing? Healthy organisms grow. If you are stuck, remember that God gives the growth. You just need to remove barriers to growth with plans and ministries.
So let's apply the right question to the Sunday School. What's keeping your Sunday School from growing? God wants it to grow. God wants it to be healthy. What barriers to growth do you need to remove in order for your Sunday School and your classes to grow? I have written about some of those barriers in a two-part series, Is the Size of Your Sunday School POT Keeping You Small, Part 1 and Is the Size of Your Sunday School POT Keeping You Small, Part 2.
Evaluate your Sunday School honestly. Allow me to ask a few questions about potential Sunday School barriers:
- Do you have enough Sunday School classroom space for every age group (preschool, children, youth, and adult) for current and projected attendance?
- Do you have enough worship space for current and projected attendance?
- Are you prepared for attenders with special needs or who speak other languages?
- Do you have enough accessible parking space?
- Are your people friendly to guests (and not just each other)?
- Do you have a process for following up on all guests?
- Are your classes organized to care for attenders?
- Do your teachers give their best efforts in prayer, preparation, and and leadership of Bible study encounters with God?
- Do you regularly prayerfully evaluate, set goals, and plan your Sunday School work?
- Are your teachers regularly training apprentices and releasing them to start new classes?
- Have you set aside regular times to pray for Sunday School, leaders, members, and unchurched people?
- Are God-called teachers and leaders enlisted annually?
These are only a few of the potential questions. What other questions or barriers would you add? Do your best to get out of God's way. Remove every barrier you know about. Seek help from Him and from others in seeing other barriers. Remove them. Work together with God and each other. Watch as He sends the increase. Give Him the glory He deserves. Be revolutionary!