I mentioned last time that it is the time of year when so many things kick off in the church: new teachers, new classes, new emphases, age group activities, and so much more. And now is the time to capitalize upon the additional excitement, take steps to keep attendance up, and set leaders in motion to accomplish great things. Not to respond at this time would be wrong. Maintenance mode is not acceptable in revolutionary Sunday School. Sunday School growth is not an accident. God is at work and calls us to join Him.
In Part 2, I will share the final five of nine actions required for Sunday School growth. Sunday School growth requires...
- GOALS. Goals can be motivational. They can keep you moving in the same direction together. On the basis of your prayer, evaluation, needs, and dreams, what goals do you need to strive toward? What God-sized goals does God want you to pursue? Where do you need to be and what steps do you need to take to get there? What classes need to be started? What leaders need enlisting and preparing? What space needs preparing? What goals need to be set for enrollment, attendance, and contacts? Check out the following for more on this action: Explosive Sunday School Growth, Set God-Sized Goals for Sunday School Growth, 5 Goals for Sunday School Growth This Year, Part 1 (both parts), and Top Ten Actions to Increase Sunday School Attendance.
- TRAINING. What newly enlisted leaders need training? Do you have potential teacher/leader training in place? In order to accomplish your goals, what training is needed in your pursuit of them? What ongoing planning and training meetings have you scheduled to help your teachers and leaders strive for excellence in all they do? For additional thoughts on this actions, check out Creative Ways to Train Sunday School Teachers, How Often Do You Train Your Sunday School Workers?, Responding to Sunday School Teachers Who Don’t Want to Train, and Training Sunday School Teachers for Change.
- NEW CLASSES. New classes are key actions for preparing for and assimilating growth. They release more workers into the harvest. They bring together unique blends of personalities, experiences, passions, and energy into reaching, teaching, and caring for people. The key to new classes is current teachers and leaders seeking and investing in apprentices. Every adult class should have as its goal to start another class within two years. For more information, check out Is It Time to Start a New Sunday School Class?, Biblical Images for Starting New Classes/Groups, Five Types of Sunday School Classes You Can Start Next, Kingdom Vision: Start New Churches Through the Sunday School, Your Sunday School Class Can Reach Hundreds in Ten Years, Diagnosis Murder: How to Split a Class, Approaching Sunday School/Small Group Births with Humor Can Help, and What Happens When Your Sunday School Class Sponsors the Start of Another Class?.
- PROSPECT PURSUIT. Jesus claims sheep that are not yet in the sheep pen (John 10:16). We are the body of Christ. Sunday School can divide up and "own" the responsibility to pursue sheep by age groups. So it is important to set a process in place for regular prospect assignments and visit/contact reporting. FAITH, GROW, REACH, and other strategies are essential to encourage regular touching of lives of prospects, absentees, and members. Special events planned by classes and by the entire Sunday School designed to attract, collect contact information, and meet the needs of prospects are important for Sunday School growth. Check out 5 Goals for Sunday School Growth This Year, Part 1 for more on this action.
- WORK. I don't know how to say this more clearly: Sunday School growth takes work! But it is not fruitless work. It is important, and there are benefits. Starting with prayer, evaluation, dreams, goals, training, new classes, and prospect pursuit, Sunday School work will result in growth. Be persistent. Work together with God and each other. Don't just talk about it. Do it. Hold each other accountable to carry out the plans. Check up on progress. Encourage each other. Prayerfully, powerfully, persistently do the work! For more thoughts on this action, check out Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 1 (and the other 5 parts).
For additional thoughts on growing your Sunday School, check out the following blog posts:
- Sunday School Growth Spiral
- Using Sunday School Enrollment to Grow, Part 1 (both parts)
- What Is Keeping Your Sunday School from Growing?
- Attitude Check: Do You Want Sunday School to Grow?
- Sunday School Checkup: Are You Growing?
- Is the Size of Your Sunday School POT Keeping You Small, Part 1 (both parts)
- Secret of Sunday School Growth: Multiply Units
- Nine Key Healthy Sunday School Issues, Part 1 (and the other 2 parts)
- Dimensions of Sunday School Growth
- High Expectations Are Necessary for Sunday School’s Mutiny Against Mediocrity
I asked last time how you would respond if your church were under attack. Would it bring you together for a common purpose? Satan is attacking our churches and our communities. Sunday School can make a difference, so we need to unite and respond. We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Gather Sunday School teachers and workers and get started. Remember to look back at the previous four actions required for Sunday School growth in Part 1. Don't be mediocre this year. Be revolutionary!