Four Tools for Growing Your Sunday School Class, Part 1

Thursday 29th January, 2009

I have talked about Sunday School growth many times over the years. Revolutionary Sunday Schools do not keep this great experience to themselves. They desire to share it. I have previously listed many actions that classes can take to reach more people. For some of these ideas, check out these blog posts:

I was recently reminded about four tools classes can use to grow by reaching more people. Josh Hunt wrote an article entitled How to Get Teachers to Double. In that article he shared and illustrated four actions classes have taken to grow. In Part 1, I wanted to share the first two of his four tools in all capitals followed by my commentary:

  • INVITATIONS. One of the main reasons classes are not growing is that members have stopped inviting people to class. Now, there can be lots of reasons why they stopped. Perhaps the class is full. Maybe the teaching is not great or class is not fun. Most often I find two reasons: (1) they are out of the habit and need reminders/challenges and (2) they forget to invite people to anything except worship. Members need repeated reminders (see REPETITION) to invite guests to their homes, to class fellowship/projects, an d to class. Setting goals for attendance, enrollment , new members, and invitations can encourage attenders to extend invitations. Make it easy by providing postcards or names and phone numbers. Invitations can be extended face-to-face, by card/letter, by phone, by text message, and by e-mail. But the most effective invitations are still face-to-face as you encounter people and as you make home and office visits. For more idea about invitations, check out Promotional Tools for Sunday School: Don’t Keep It to Yourself!, Your Sunday School Class Can Reach Hundreds in Ten Years, Revolutionary Sunday School Invitations (Postcards), Christmas Invitation to Sunday School, Push and Pull People to Sunday School/Small Groups, and Personal Invitations Are Needed and Still Work!. Very few people will come to our classes if we don't invite them.
  • FOOD. One attractive invitation we can extend is for food. Many people are more open to an invitation involving food. Invite prospects and guests to your home for a meal. Invite them to a class activity that involves food. Invite them to a breakfast before class (or during class). Invite them to join you for lunch after class. Josh shared a story about a class which invited a family to join them for pizza after worship. When the couple found out while eating that they were all from the same class, the couple said they wanted to attend the class the next Sunday. Food gives us a reason to invite guests/prospects. And it allows us an informal time to get to know them and for them to get to know us. Extend the welcome wagon and class care by inviting prospects and guests to connect with your class over food. Also check out this post: Sunday School Fellowship: More Than Food and Fun and Grow Your Sunday School Class/Small Group by Eating a Meal with Guests.

How can you increase the number of invitations extended by your class? What can you do to get your members thinking about prospects and guests? What regular opportunity could your class provide for connecting with prospects and guests over food? Want your class to grow? Lead them to invite. Connect over food. Be revolutionary.

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