Relationships matter. Most unchurched/lost will never come to Jesus or to Sunday School without an invitation. For most, relationships will begin in the community before they will ever attend Sunday School.
In Part 1 of this ten-part series, I stated that Sunday School is a great tool for helping the church mobilize God's people to carry out the Great Commission. One of the ways Sunday School can help the church "make disciples of all nations" is in the area of evangelism. In this series, we are looking at ways Sunday School can be evangelistic. How can Sunday School reach out more/share Jesus more? What could be added or done to add more evangelistic thinking and acting, even beyond the hour on Sunday morning and at church as well as away.
In Part 1, I began sharing some of the 101 ways that Sunday School can be even more intentionally evangelistic through prayer. In Part 2, I will share how Sunday School can be evangelistic through relationships. What are ten ways Sunday School can be even more evangelistic through prayer? Consider the following:
1. FOCUS. Be evangelistic with everyone, but focus prayer, care, and attention toward 1-3 unsaved/unchurched/unenrolled individuals. Get to know them.
2. TIME. Care is best expressed through time. Schedule time with lost people. Attend events with them. Take them with you on errands and trips. Build trust.
3. COFFEE/DESSERT. This can be for getting acquainted as well as for ongoing relationship-building. Grab coffee. Get ice cream. Relax. Listen more than you talk. Listen for moments when you can respond in care.
4. EAT. Everyone eats. Invite lost people to a meal. Catch lunch during the busy day. Have a relaxing meal in the home or a restaurant. Plan a picnic. Food has a way of making the conversation more relaxed and casual.
5. COMMUNICATE. Keep in touch. Text. Email. Call. Send a card or letter. Express care. Ask questions. Share concerns. Recommend resources.
6. CELEBRATE. Discover special days like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Take time to acknowledge those days. Send a note. Make a call. Show up in person. Send a gift. Show you care.
7. AFFINITY. Find out what both of you enjoy doing. It may be biking, bowling, model planes, cooking, or any other affinity. Make time to enjoy the common activity together. Look for the teachable moment when you can share what Jesus and Sunday School mean to you.
8. STUDY TOGETHER. Read books together and discuss them (like Purpose Driven Life). Take a course together at church, in the community, or a college. Study a Bible book or passage together. You will discover much about each other as you study together.
9. MINISTER. Listen for and be sensitive to stress-filled times in life. Reach out in care. Send a card during grief. Mow the grass. Listen to pain. Help find a new job. Pay a utility payment. When appropriate share the love of God. Talk about how you are surrounded by people who care in your Sunday School class.
10. INVITE. Find special reasons to invite to class fellowships, projects, and sessions. Share about upcoming topics and plans. Offer to pick him/her up. Don't pressure or try to guilt. Simply care.
What would you add to this list? Choose one or t wo and implement them in your class this week! For more ideas about evangelism and outreach through the Sunday School, check out these blog posts:
- Apply God’s Word Through a Sunday School Project This Thanksgiving
- Could Satellite Sunday School Be in Your Future?
- The Bible Study Session Invitation
- The 3-5-10 Formula for Sunday School Growth
- What Are the 10 Best Practices to Make Your Sunday School Work?
- Missions Project Ideas for Taking Sunday School Ministry Beyond the Classroom Walls
- Grow Sunday School by Inviting Worship Guests
- Foundational Pillars of a Sunday School that Grows, Part 1
- Revolutionary Sunday School Teacher Skills
- Raise the Vision That Sunday School Can ’Make Disciples of All Nations’!
- Kingdom Vision: Start New Churches Through the Sunday School
- The Impact of One Hour of Sunday School
- Dimensions of Sunday School Growth
- Balancing First Impression and Connection in Sunday School
- Turnaround: Sunday School from Dying to Alive
- Sunday School’s Neglect of Organizing for Care and Growth, Part 5