- On the first day of Christmas, my Sunday School class gave to Christ...Love of God, neighbors, and self.
- On the second day of Christmas, my Sunday School class gave to Christ...Start of a second class.
- On the third day of Christmas, my Sunday School class gave to Christ...Prayer for three prospects.
How would you complete the fourth verse?
On the fourth day of Christmas, my Sunday School class gave to Christ...
How did you complete the fourth verse? Extend an invitation for your class' response. Turn it into a request for class members' commitment. Give your response to Christ and to each other. Make Christmas special by giving Jesus twelve birthday presents this year!
Here is how I would respond to today's verse:
Four ministry calls.
Care and ministry to those in the class and beyond is important. If we don't care for that which God has given us, why should he entrust us with more? We need to notice when people are out. We need to mobilize to provide care in times of stress and need. We should do so because we care, but it does not hurt to be organized to make sure no one is missed in showing the care!
Care groups are a great way to enlist class members to lead out in contacts and care (check out A Simple Two-Part System for Getting Sunday School Class Ministry Done, Part 4). The care group leader should not do all the work but should enlist members of the care group to assist with contacts and with caring actions. Prospects should be added to the care group lists as well. Prayer chains can be an additional means of providing care through prayer--whether done through care groups or not.
But why "four" ministry calls? It is a number that would likely close the back door of the class (people drifting away without the class noticing) while also creating caring relationships with people in the class and beyond. If every class member made four contacts every week, I am confident that God would bless the class with growth.
Andy Anderson in his Growth Spiral research encouraged every class to make weekly contacts equal to or exceeding the class e nrollment. I believe the ideal is at least two times the class enrollment (meaning that every member and every prospect is contacted every week). But "four" is twice that number and would be a great target to add quality and quantity to caring efforts.
Make four ministry calls this week and next and the one after. Call because you care. Share requests and pray together. Listen to each other. Mobilize to minister when a need is discovered. Don't just sing the words to today's verse! Commit to it! Live it! Do it! Love Him. Pray. Care. Meet needs. Share His love. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!
For more ideas about caring and the three previous parts of this series, check out these blog posts:
- Care Groups: Prayer, Ministry, Assimilation, and Invitation
- The Simple Church Meets Sunday School Care Groups
- Sunday School Contacts Result in Increased Attendance
- Key Actions for Sunday School Class Growth, Part 1
- Foundational Pillars of a Sunday School that Grows, Part 9
- Increase Care in Sunday School by Becoming Better Listeners, Part 2
- Grow Your Sunday School Class by Organizing to Respond in Times of Need
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 5
- Reconnecting with Sunday School Absentees
- The Ministry of Sunday School in Times of Chaos
- Twelve Days of Sunday School: Day One, Twelve Days of Sunday School: Day Two, and Twelve Days of Sunday School: Day Three