A Simple Two-Part System for Getting Sunday School Class Ministry Done, Part 2

Wednesday 26th November, 2008

In Part 1, I began sharing about a simple, two-part system for medium classes with 15-25 in attendance which will enable them to carry out their ministry effectively. But in Part 3, I will also suggest an adjustment for a small class (under 15).  For a quick overview of the two parts of the system, check out Balancing First Impression and Connection in Sunday School. The two parts are class greeters and care group leaders--but with a slightly different twist.

Let me review how Part 1 works. Each class has at least two class greeters who welcome and register guests, sit with them and introduce them, and after class walk guests to find children, restrooms, and worship. In worship, they sit with guests and introduce them to those around them. At the end of worship, class greeters thank guests for attending, ask if they had any questions, and walk them to find preschoolers and the parking lot. Then in 48-72 hours, greeters call guests to let them know how much they enjoyed having them in class and worship, invite them to a class fellowship, share and ask for prayer requests, and pray together. After the call, greeters pass the baton (contact information and responsibility to continue care) to class care group leaders.

Care group leaders have been recruited and trained to care for assigned group members: 3-5 enrolled members (regulars and absentees) and 3-5 guests and prospects. The job of care group leaders is to make brief contact with care group members weekly. The contact is similar to greeters: invite to an upcoming class fellowship or project, share and ask for prayer requests, share about the upcoming lesson, and pray together. The job is care and relationship--NOT pressure for group members to attend. On Sunday, care group leaders gather group members for five minutes to take roll, share prayer requests, and pray together. One additional focus of that prayer time would be praying for assigned guests and prospects.

As a part of that care, on a rotating basis care groups (group members and leaders) are responsible for planning two class fellowships and one class outreach/ministry project each quarter. Below is a table showing a possible calendar for a class with six care groups (together would care for 18-30 enrolled members and 18-30 guests and prospects). Each care group leader would seek input from group members (including guests and prospects) about assigned months. Other class members (beyond the assigned care group) could be enlisted to help.

Month
Group
Activity
January
1
Fellowship
February
2
Project
March
3
Fellowship
April
4
Fellowship
May
5
Project
June
6
Fellowship
July
1
Fellowship
August
3
Project
September
2
Fellowship
October
4
Fellowship
November
6
Project
December
5
Fellowship


In order to enlarge the care of the care group, the care group leader prays for, enlists, and begins to train an apprentice care group leader. Increasingly as the year progresses, more and more responsibility is shared with the apprentice. As the number of group members increases beyond five members and five guests/prospects, the apprentice is assigned by the care group leader a good mix of half of the group. During the first quarter, the apprentice reports weekly to the care group leader. After the first quarter, the apprentice becomes a "full" care group leader. The teacher or one of the care group leaders leads a monthly meeting to check on care and apprentice progress, hold the groups accountable, handle problems, and prepare for communication.

When lesson plans call for group work, it would be natural for the teacher to gather the care groups. The care group leader or apprentice would serve as facilitator. If larger groups are desired, he/she could combine a couple of care groups. Since the care group leader and apprentice will have spent even more time with care group members than the teacher, they will be able to assist the group in even better application of God's Word. The care group can also hold each other accountable to practice a daily quiet time and to employ spiritual disciplines. As discipleship needs are discovered, individuals or the whole care group could participate in strengthening experiences beyond class time--like like parenting, finance, Bible skills, witness training, or other need.

How are you doing with your class greeters (review Part 1) and your care groups? What change could you make in your system to strengthen your care and class ministry? In Part 3, we will look at a way to adjust the two-part system so it works even more simply in a small class (under 15). In the meantime, what are you doing to involve your class members, connect with your guests, and make sure your class ministry gets done? Enlist, train, and deploy class greeters and care group leaders immediately. Touch every life. Be revolutionary!

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