Planning Questions for Moving to Multiple Sunday Schools, Part 2

Thursday 4th October, 2007

In Part 1, I mentioned that I have discovered an article about multiple Sunday Schools that can be helpful. Belinda Jolley, Adult Ministry Group Director for the South Carolina Baptist Convention, has written an article entitled Multiple Sunday Schools: Things to Consider. In the article, Belinda offers some questions that can help a church as they decide when and how to move to multiple Sunday Schools.

In Part 1, I shared the first four questions listed below. In Part 2, I will share her final four questions in all capitals followed by my commentary:

  • WHAT LEADERS CAN BEST HELP US PREPARE FOR MULTIPLE SUNDAY SCHOOLS?
  • WILL WE PROVIDE IDENTICAL SUNDAY SCHOOLS OR PORTIONS OF THEM?
  • HOW WILL WE PROVIDE FOR PRESCHOOLERS AT EACH SESSION?
  • HOW WILL WE PROJECT WHO WILL GO TO WHICH SUNDAY SCHOOL?
  • HOW MUCH PARKING DO WE HAVE AVAILABLE? Count your spaces. Divide your attendance by the number of cars early in your planning. Even tho ugh you are using the classroom space twice, you can only use parking spaces once. Project how the balance will impact parking. With worship and Sunday School happening simultaneously, you may need to consider options. Belinda suggested, "You may need to consider some shuttles running to/from nearby businesses or other possible parking areas." During the transition time, you may also want to ask members to park in spaces farther away from the building in order to accommodate guests, seniors, and preschool parents.
  • HOW WILL WE HANDLE CHOIR AND OTHER WORSHIP/MUSIC ISSUES? Will choir members, praise team, and instrumentalists be needed in both worship services? If so, when can they attend Sunday School? Could they leave from one service at an appropriate time in order to participate in an abbreviated Sunday School lesson?
  • HOW CAN WE SAFELY MOVE A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE AT THE SAME TIME TO/FROM THE SAME SPACE? Hallway and gathering space can be stretched with multiple Sunday Schools. Remove as many obstacles (such as tables and displays) as possible from hallways which may impede two-way traffic. Think about alternate entrances and exits for worship and Sunday School. Think about flow out and into spaces. Be quick to evaluate problems with flow and to adjust as needed. Belinda mentioned one other issue: "You can easily spot bottlenecks when people are waiting in hallways to enter a classroom where the teacher has 'gone over time.'"
  • WHEN WILL WE LAUNCH THE MULTIPLE SUNDAY SCHOOL? In general, I would suggest launching in the spring or the fall. Belinda makes a good suggestion when she says, "Launch the multiple Sunday Schools on an average day." Avoid holidays, including Easter, which may make evaluation and adjustments harder to guage accurately. Allow enough time to be ready (preparation steps and emotionally).

Along with the above questions, I would add this one: Have you prayed about it? Have you called on the church leaders to pray about it? As I said last time, for many churches multiple Sunday School can be a way to release more power for the Sunday School with very little addtional financial cost. What do you need to do to prepare for this possibility? Pray. Plan. Prepare. Communicate. Launch. Evaluate. Be revolutionary!

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