Grow Sunday School by Inviting Worship Guests

Thursday 9th September, 2010

This post is the fifth in a series expanding on twenty methods in response to How Can I Grow My Sunday School Class Numerically?. The fifth method listed there was this one: Collect information from and pursue worship guests. Jesus charged His disciples to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them...and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV). Sunday School can help the church a lot in that effort. One way is by inviting worship guests.

This method for growing your Sunday School class depends on one thing: that the church has worship guests. Quite obviously if there are no guests in worship, then Sunday School classes cannot invite them. For this post, we will assume that that the worship service has guests most Sundays. There are several ways that Sunday School classes can connect with worship guests:

GREETERS. Have worship greeters prepared to answer questions about Sunday School (before and after worship). Make sure they have a list of classes by age group and room numbers. Always have a supply available. Keep the list updated. Communicate with the greeters immediately about any new classes or room changes.

SIGN UP TABLE. Provide a place where people can explore your groups, ask questions, meet leaders, and sign up. Yes, sign up. Make it simple. Make it one stop. Provide printed information about choices, but staff the table with someone to answer questions and help people make a decision while at the table. Help them locate age group appropriate choices. Provide a form and allow them to drop it into a registration box/container.

LAUNCH/PROMOTE NEW CLASSES. New classes are attractive. They expect new people. They tend to be more evangelistic and intentionally inviting. Launch new leaders and classes as often as possible. Then promote these classes. Invite people to them. Have the teachers/leaders share about the class and invite people to attend the class at the end of the worship service and/or at the sign up table.

SECTION GREETERS. Assign class members (from every age group) a section of the sanctuary to welcome guests who sit in the assigned sanctuary seating section. Greet. Meet. Care. Get to know. Invite to class. If the age group does not fit, introduce them to someone from that age group. Josh Hunt calls this Zone Offense.

SERMON/TESTIMONIES. Emphasize the importance of Sunday School in knowing and following Christ. Raise the expectation. Share Sunday School testimonies. Preach about the importance of Bible study and of groups.

BEFORE/AFTER CONNECTION. As Sunday School classes, pay special attention to 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after the worship service starts. Locate and welcome guests. Invite them to class fellowships, projects, and class. Invite them for a meal. Let them know of your interest, care, and availability.

CONTACTS. This depends on registering guests. Assuming registration, share guest information with classes of appropriate age/stage assignment. Then send email, make phone calls, and make visits. Share your care and interest. Invite to fellowships, projects, and class. Share what is being studied. Seek prayer requests. Make contacts for weeks or until the guest joins Sunday School somewhere.

FELLOWSHIP INVITATIONS. Invite worship guests to opportunities to get to know you and the class. Invite them to parties, fellowships, and meals. Invite them to participate with you in outreach, ministry, service, and community projects. Invite them more than out of care and don't stop caring!

What else would you add to this list? Worship guests are interested in God and your church--or they would not have shown up. They probably were invited by someone. Don't squander their interest and initiative. Invite worship guests to Sunday School. Greet. Care. Invite. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about worship connections, check out these blog posts:

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