Second Step Toward Sunday School Class Change: Attention

Monday 26th April, 2010

In a series entitled Steps Toward Sunday School Change, Part 1, Steps Toward Sunday School Change, Part 2, and Steps Toward Sunday School Change, Part 3, I shared eight steps toward change: prayer, attention, evaluation, motivation, commitment, ownership, action, and repeat. I pointed out that leadership is the medium in which those steps are carried out. Without leadership, those steps will fail to be carried out.

In this series, I want to set each of those steps into the context of the class. Change is needed. Leadership to accomplish that change is needed. Most class change will be led by the teacher, but most class change will need to involve others in the class besides the teacher. In other words, ownership for the change will help create motivation and momentum for the change. In the first blog post of this series, First Step Toward Sunday School Class Change: Prayer, I set the change in a common class change scenario: leading the class to shift focus to prospects and people not in the class.

In this blog post, I will use the same scenario to look at the second step: attention. In many ways, the first step of prayer has already brought attention to the need for change. But sometimes the leader is praying and has not asked the class attenders to join in prayer. Merely sharing the request to pray for the issue of prospects and people who are not in the class can heighten the awareness, focus their attention. In addition, presenting the request with passion heightens attention.

But there are additional ways to bring attention to this (or any other) change issue. Let me list a few of the thousands of possibilities):

  • tell a story (preferably a current local story) about a prospect in need;
  • share a testimony of your efforts to care and invite;
  • ask a recently joined member to share his/her testimony;
  • show pictures of people or situations in need;
  • brainstorm about how to help an individual or group;
  • brainstorm about how to reach out and invite an individual or group;
  • share wallet-sized prayer cards on which class members can pray for 3 lost, unchurched, or unenrolled people;
  • ask class members to share testimonies of ministry actions and attempts to invite;
  • focus class attention for a month on individuals in the sanctuary who are not enrolled in Sunday School;
  • talk about how you can focus on, pray for, care for, and reach out to a different group of prospects each quarter: friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors;
  • talk about the needs of the age group assigned to your class;
  • ask someone to share community demographics focused on the age group of your class;
  • ask community leaders to share with the class about ways the class can impact the community;
  • and lots more!

Unless their eyes see the people, they won't pray for or pursue them. They cannot help people they don't see or needs they don't know. Grab their attention. Share a testimony. Tell a story. Show pictures. Talk about needs and people and opportunities. These principles apply to any other class change scenario as well. It is difficult to change anything if no one sees the need for the change. So point it out lovingly and patiently and persistently. Notice as eyes and hearts ope n. Don't push. Pray. Continue to bring attention to the need for the change.

What change does God desire for your class? The place to begin the change is in prayer and attention. Pray for the change. Lead others to join you in praying. Listen to God. Follow His leadership. Help others to see the need for change and invite them to join as you gain their attention. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about attention, check out these blog posts:

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