Next-Level Sunday School

Monday 21st July, 2008

What are you doing to take your Sunday School to the next level? If you are not praying, envisioning, and preparing for it, you will be less likely to see next-level Sunday School happen. There have been two recent influences on my thinking here. The first was an article by my friend, David Francis who is the director of Sunday School for LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville. The article is entitled Add a Digit to Your Sunday School Enrollment.

The second influence was my previous post entitled The Prayer of Jabez for Sunday School. How has God bless your Sunday School? How are you doing in your stewardship of it? What do you need to do to prepare for what God is getting ready to do?

Two earlier but contributing influences were previous posts, How BIG Is God’s Vision for Your Sunday School/Small Groups? and Set God-Sized Goals for Sunday School Growth. I believe God expects big things for churches. And I believe Sunday School has a significant place in helping to carry out much of that work.

What is the next level for your Sunday School? It is important to spend time with God exploring His will, but there are some issues that are already settled. In the Great Commission, Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations. He outlined the process: baptizing them..and teaching them to obey. What is the next level in your Sunday School's pursuit of the Great Commission? What is the next step for your Sunday School toward next-level disciple discovery, relationship-building, sharing, caring, ministering, teaching, leading, training, and mobilizing into service?

Let's assume that you (and other leaders) believe God desires your Sunday School attendance (number of disciples and disciples-in-process) to increase by 20% in the coming year. Allow me to ask you three sets of questions with that assumption built into them:

  • EVALUATE: Where are you now? Assess your situation. How many attend? How much training have your leaders had? How much planning happens? What space do you have? How many classes do you have? Etc.
  • ENVISION: Now, imagine having worked to accomplish a 20% increase in Sunday School over the coming year? What happened to bring this about? What steps did you take to move toward that next level? How did you reach, teach, keep, and mobilize more people? What training did you offer? How many classes did you start? Etc.
  • EDUCATE/EFFECT: What do you need to do to prepare your current leaders to move in that direction? How can you share the vision? How can you lead them to become motivated to pursue the vision? What needs to happen first to get the ball rolling? What steps do you need to take?

I cannot remember from whom I have heard this quote, but it fits here:  "If you don't see it before you see it, you'll never see it." And if you don't lead your Sunday School teachers and leaders to see it before they see it, they'll never see it. Assess your current situation to build on what is there. Help your leaders and members to see the potential and why they need to pursue the next level. And get to work together! Pursue the next level. Be revolutionary!

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