Set God-Sized Goals for Sunday School Growth

Saturday 1st March, 2008
I am fully aware that bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to Sunday School. But I have memorized some of our Lord's final words on earth in a passage we know as the Great Commission:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV)

I don't think on this side of heaven that our efforts to make disciples of all nations should stop. Sunday School should be striving to introduce more and more people to Jesus and His way of life. In that effort to reach and disciple, Sunday School tends to strive to acheive greater expectations by setting goals. I have written many blog entries about goals and increasing Sunday School attendance. A few of the posts include the following:

There are many factors to consider in order to experience Sunday School growth. I listed quite a few of these last month in a post entitled Explosive Sunday School Growth. From the long list, three of these factors include prayer, setting goals, and new class starts. I want to focus on those three factors in an illustration below to help stretch your thinking about what God could do through your Sunday School. Before I do, it is important for me to encourage you to pray before you set any goals. Seek God's leadership. Do not rush the prayer time. Ask others to join you in praying. And remember to set God-sized goals which will reflect what He wants to do through you rather than goals you feel you can accomplish. There is a big difference between the two!

Now, here is the illustration in table form. For easy math, I am going to assume this church is averaging 100 in Sunday School. If your Sunday School is smaller, cut the numbers in half. If it is larger, multiply the numbers times the multiple that your attendance is of 100. (If you have questions, send me an e-mail, and I'll be glad to help.) Again, for the purposes of easy math, I am going to assume that enrollment is double of attendance and that the church averages 10 persons per class.

12 or 13
4 or 5
8 or 9
1 or 2
1 every other
8 or 9/wk

A goal to increase attendance by 50% is God-sized for most churches. But notice in the table that the goals do not look so intimidating when you break them down by quarter, month, and class. And if you break the goals down by class and by quarter, then that God-sized goal seems too small and too easy! That means that each class would only have to reach 1 or 2 persons each quarter for the church to realize a Sunday School attendance inrease of 50%. Wow!

Pray about setting God-sized goals for your Sunday School. It does not have to be September. Pray and then set them for the remaining part of the yea r. When you reach them, remember to give God the praise, thanks, and glory He deserves! Be revolutionary!

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