Sunday School/Small Groups: Where Everybody Knows Your Name, Part 2

Saturday 24th November, 2007

In Part 1, I shared several important questions about your group: What if everyone in your Sunday School class or small group knew your name? What if the group knew a lot about you, warts and all? Would that be an incentive to be faithful in participating with the group, or not? What if you knew that the group loved, forgave, and supported you? What if they were like family?

The question at which I am driving is this one: How do we arrive at the place in our classes/groups "where everybody knows your name?" How do we get to the place where we know and trust each other? How do we get to the place where we can hardly tear ourselves away from the group?

In Part 1, I shared that it begins with getting to know one another. I suggested getting to know you begins with greeters, name tags, icebreakers, listening to each other and to God, fellowships, and care groups. In Part 2, we will take this good beginning farther. We will look at some additional ingredients necessary for moving toward a class "where everybody knows your name." Those ingredients include the following:
1.        participation/involvement in class, leadership, and service is needed by and should be expected from all class attenders (check out Revolutionary Sunday School Teachers Engage Learners, Sunday School/Small Groups Can Help Adults Get Involved and Make Spiritual Progress, and Revolutionary Classes Mobilize Attenders);
2.        transparency, openness, and honesty produces trust and leads to confession of sin and willingness to be held accountable (check out Is Transparency a Requirement for Revolutionary Sunday School? and Benefits of Honesty, Openness, and Vulnerability for a Sunday School Teacher);
3.        great life-changing teaching-learning is so important in order to keep attenders coming back and inviting others (check out Prayerful, Purposeful Preparation for Revolutionary Sunday School and Crafting the WOW Sunday School Experience);
4.        class covenants can bring attenders to agree on important issues like participation, confidentiality, accountability, and service (check out Sunday School Class and Home Bible Study Group Covenants and Benefits of a Covenant for a Revolutionary Sunday School Class);
5.        keeping groups small makes relationships, accountability, and trust easier (check out One of Many Reasons to Keep Sunday School Classes Small);
6.        prayer for, follow up, and ministry to absentees shows how much the group cares and prevents drop outs (check out Reconnecting with Sunday School Absentees);
7.        creating community leads to growing in God's likeness and numerically as the group focuses on organizing efforts to deepen relationships from praying together, sitting in a circle, vision casting, and more (check out Groups Creating Community, Part 1 and Groups Creating Community, Part 2); and
8.        acting in caring ways by serving together is a great way to get to know one another while making a difference in the lives of others (check out Ideas for Sunday School's Ministry to Homebound Adults, Revolutionary Adult Classes Are S.M.A.R.T., and Revolutionary Sunday School Does Care).

If you add together the six areas listed in Part 1 with the eight areas of Part 2, you have fourteen ingredients for leading your group to become a class/group where everybody knows your name. How does your class measure up? Rate your class on a scale of one (cold job) to seven (very warm job) in each of the fourteen areas.

Add up the scores. If your score is 76+ you are doing a great job and may only need to focus on one area of improvement. If you score 51-75, your class is in need of some help before more people drop out; focus now on the top couple of areas of need to begin to address the change needed. If your score is 50 or below, your class needs immediate CPR. It is dying to be loved; take action now before it is too late! Plan to be revolutionary not mediocre!

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