Filling the Sunday School Pail

Thursday 13th January, 2011

Recently, in a blog post entitled Plugging the Leaks in Your Sunday School, I wrote:

Think of your class or Sunday School as a whole as a pail. How are people leaking out? What are the reasons people are becoming irregular in attendance? What are the reasons people are dropping out?

THE PAIL IS LEAKING. Every Sunday School has people leaking out. It may simply be due to death or job transfers. Or it can be more directly caused by lack of attention and care by your classes. Recognizing the fact that your Sunday School is losing people is essential. Doing something about as many leaks as we can is important. But more than plugging leaks is necessary.

NEED TO FILL THE PAIL. Because every Sunday School has leaks, all of which cannot be plugged, there is a need to continue to fill the pail just to maintain current levels of involvement and attendance. An even more important reason for filling the Sunday School pail is obedience to our Lord's Great Commission: "Go and make disciples of all nations..." I have written much about how Sunday School can be a great tool for a church in carrying out this co-mission.

WHY? Quickly, there are many reasons why we should want to fill the Sunday School bucket with new people. For one, lost people are more than one hundred times more likely to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord when we get them into Sunday School rather than leaving them in the Sanctuary (they need both). Also, they are more than five times more likely to remain connected to the church five year later if they get involved in Sunday School.

Added to those reasons, they will learn more about God's Word and how to apply it. They will be discipled. They will connect relationally and have opportunity for service in and through the class. Some will be apprenticed into leaders. They will help the class prepare to start a new class so more reaching can be accomplished. There are so many more reasons.

HOW? So how can we fill the pail? Personal connections and invitations are the best method. Dr. Thom Rainer did research that discovered that 82% of the unchurched said they are at least somewhat likely to come if invited. So we should do our part. Ask them. Invite them to your homes. Invite them to your class fellowships and projects. Invite them to class sessions. Offer to pick them up. Don't be surprised when they say yes. Be prepared when they show up.

Sometimes setting goals for new members is helpful to keep attention focused on inviting. Sometimes goals for contacts help. It may be helpful to focus on a category of our relationships: friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors. Don't forget to invite church members not enrolled in Sunday School. Give attention to every age group throughout your Sunday School.

Starting new classes is a key here, and apprenticing new leaders is key for starting new classes. New classes grow faster, reach new people better, are more evangelistic, and give opportunity for more people to serve. New classes attract, mobilize, and disciple more people. Make your plan for filling the pail includes starting new classes.

What else would you add as how to fill the pail of Sunday School? Press Comments below and share your thoughts. Plug the leaks. Fill the pail. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about inviting new people, check out these blog posts:

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