Favorite Post: Top Ten Actions to Increase Sunday School Attendance

Thursday 2nd July, 2009

Over the few days, I will be completing the writing of a book about Sunday School. Over the last month, I have shared favorite blog posts--those which have received the most hits (pageviews). In counting down the top ten, here at last is the number one favorite! Enjoy!

The ten actions that I list below are intended for revolutionary Sunday Schools. If a Sunday School does not want to be revolutionary, the actions below will simply create stress, resistance, and division. But in a revolutionary Sunday School, the listed actions will release power and energy, create excitement and momentum, and lead to maturational and numerical growth. WARNING: Work is required!

Consider the following if you want to increase your Sunday School attendance:

  • PRAY. Don't overlook this action! Power, direction, and blessing will be missed without prayer. Pray for the following actions. Pray for leaders, members, and guests.
  • START NEW CLASSES. New classes add leaders, reachers, focus, energy, and excitement. On average, new classes grow faster than existing classes. A new class will often grow to 20 in enrollment and 10 in attendance in 12-18 months.
  • MAKE MORE CONTACTS. Increasing contacts with members and guests by 7-10 contacts above your usual number of contacts will result in 1 additional person in attendance. Want 10 more persons in attendance? Make 70-100 more contacts.
  • INVITE MEMBERS AND GUESTS TO YOUR MONTHLY FELLOWSHIPS. Fellowships are great tools for developing relationships with each other. Why not invite guests? As guests get to know the people in the class, they will be more likely to attend the class. Don't wait for them to attend. Invite guests to your fellowship now!
  • ENLIST A CLASS LEADERSHIP TEAM. David Francis of LifeWay says in an article entitled, Sunday School is a Team Effort, if you are missing members of your team, you become that leader. If you want to increase attendance, you need everyone to do their job. It takes a team to invite, lead participants to discover God and His Word, and connect with each other and God (3D Sunday School).
  • SET ENROLLMENT AND ATTENDANCE GOALS. Ask every class to set God-sized goals. Privately and publicly affirm classes who reach/exceed their goals. Make total Sunday School progress visual.
  • ORGANIZE TO REACH OUT AND MEET NEEDS. Care groups in adult and youth classes increase assimilation of attenders and new members when care group leaders care for 3 members and 3 guests. Contact is made weekly to listen, pray together, invite to fellowship activities, and mobilize the class to meet discovered needs. (Many Sunday Schools would increase in attendance if they could keep people from dropping out. Care groups can help!)
  • SEEK MORE PARTICIPATION IN THE LESSON. From the youngest to the oldest, people today want to involve more of their senses. They learn more when they do more than hear. When they say and do something, retention is at 90%. And when more people are involved in the lesson, they are more likely to invite someone to class.
  • TEACH MEMBERS TO SHARE A SUNDAY SCHOOL TESTIMONY. Help members assess the benefits they have received from being in Sunday School and practice sharing those benefits with each other in two minutes or less. Then challenge them to share their Sunday School testimony this week. Call for reports next Sunday. We must mobilize the laborers in our classes to be in the harvest.
  • START BIBLE STUDY GROUPS AWAY FROM THE CHURCH. Some will never come to the church building. Surveys have shown that many who live in apartments are unchurched. Why not take Bible study to them? Research has shown that as many as 40% cannot attend on Sunday. Why not offer Bible study on weekdays at times and places when people can attend. Bible study groups can be an effective part of your Sunday School ministry.
Where do you need to start? Choose one and begin work now. Prioritize the list and work through them until all ten are in action. How will you be revolutionary in your efforts to increase Sunday School enrollment and attendance this year? Do you have additional actions to suggest? Press the comments button below to share your ideas with others. Be revolutionary!

For additional information, check out these three blog entries:

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