Sunday School Outreach: Giving Sunday Night to Jesus

Sunday 19th November, 2006

One of the problems in many of our Sunday Schools is the low number of guests and even fewer seekers. This is not true in revolutionary Sunday School. As I stated back on October 11, revolutionary Sunday School faces outward. Revolutionary leaders and members see lives in need. They see a community to reach. They see friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors who need Jesus. They see the mission field into which God is sending them.

Revolutionary Sunday School looks for ways to connect with people. Leaders and members invite people along their paths to class, to worship, and to class fellowships and projects. They stop and listen. They care. They seek to move beyond friendliness to developing lasting relationships.

One way that these leaders and members connect with people at a deeper level is by inviting people into their homes. They know that food and fellowship help people to relax. Through slowing down and listening, this informal setting leads to the discovery of areas of common interest, of affinities. Laughter takes place. Relationships begin.

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Want to move your classes with few guests and seekers to start reaching out? Challenge them to give Sunday night to Jesus. Now what do I mean? Well, it comes from Josh Hunt's idea called Give Friday Night to Jesus. Here is my slight adaption of his idea:

Once a quarter schedule the cancellation of your Sunday evening service and all church activities. On that night, members are asked to invite unchurched people into their homes. (For those uncomfortable inviting guests into their home, two members/couples could invite two sets of guests.) For the four weeks prior to that Sunday, do the following:

  • Week 1: class attenders pray about potential people (by name) they will invite to their homes for a meal or dessert; in morning worship the pastor and deacon chairman (or another layperson) announce who has accepted their invitations;
  • Week 2: attenders write down the names of 3-6 prospects they will invite this week until one or more agrees, and
  • Weeks 3/4: pray in Sunday School and worship for each other and for people who have agreed to come; continue to invite until everyone will host guests.

The agenda for the time of fellowship is simply getting acquainted. The first time, there may be no intentional effort to invite the guests to Sunday School or worship. You are trying to develop friendships. But if the subject of church comes up naturally in conversation, don't miss the opportunity to invite them.

Then, just get prepared for the telephone calls that week. They won't be able to wait until Sunday School to share what happened. In fact, I'd be surprised if attendance the next Sunday was not higher and if you didn't have more guests than usual. In class, you probably won't have to ask them to share. In fact, it may be more difficult to get them to stop.

They say Baptists (and other denominations) love to meet and eat. Why not use something we enjoy (fellowship) for the good of the Kingdom? For additional ideas, read Josh's article linked above or buy his book, You Can Double Your Class in Two Years or Less. Don't go another quarter without leading your Sunday School attenders to be Great Commission Christians who go and make disciples of all nations, one relationship at a time!

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