When was the last time you attended a Sunday School class fellowship? Were guests invited? Think about what happened? Beyond personally having fun, how did you or the class benefit from the experience?
Because of my travel schedule, my wife and I were able to attend our first fellowship with a class we joined this summer. Counting all the children, there seemed to be about 30 people. The children sat together and the adults sat together. We ate and talked. We laughed. My wife and I learned so much about the people in the class, and some in the class were able to get to know us a little better.
The class had a guest couple today. They and their children were invited to the fellowship, and the guest family came and seemed to enjoy themselves. We were able to connect on a more intimate, more personal level through the extended time away from church. Their children were able to meet other children outside of a structured environment in class.
Fellowships are great tools for reaching out to guests, assimilating new people, and strengthening connections between class members. Classes should be encouraged to do something together monthly for those three reasons. Every month, the class should make it a point to invite guests: friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors.
Class regulars should be coached to make a point of connecting with guests at fellowships. Like my wife and I, new people in a class will also benefit from getting to know class attenders and connecting on deeper, more personal levels with people with whom they study God's Word. In many cases, regular class fellowship activities can also keep attenders from dropping out. All attenders will be helped through the deepening of trust that comes through knowing one another better.
So the next time your class gets together for food, fun, and fellowship, think about what you are experiencing. Plan fellowship activities and ministry projects monthly. Invite guests. Talk. Laugh. Connect. Be revolutionary!