While on sabbatical (to write this book) in Oxford, England, I bought a Regent’s Park College hoodie. I like the dark blue color and the college crest on the breast. There was only one problem. There was no place to try on the hoodie in the store, and the store policy was no returns on merchandise that was not defective. I held the hoodie up to me in the store and even asked my wife what she thought. We both considered the possibility of shrinkage, and I purchased a large. When I got it back to our flat, I discovered that sizes run a bit smaller here. Apparently, I need an extra large.
Over the years, I have seen so many Sunday Schools organized at best to maintain what they have—buildings and people. They have purchased one size too small. I have seen so many Sunday Schools organized to stay small. In fact, most have neglected organization entirely. Oh, I am not saying they weren’t organized. What I am saying is that they have neglected that organization over quite a few years. That organizational neglect has led to lots of problems that have prevented many Sunday Schools from growing, caring, and becoming revolutionary.
Neglected organization has contributed to some of these stumbling blocks to Sunday School care and growth:
- not starting new classes,
- not apprenticing new leaders,
- not filling vacated positions,
- too few workers,
- no goals,
- ignoring community change,
- no age graded classes,
- classes that are too large,
- classes that are too small,
- age spans too wide,
- no coaching,
- no more space,
- no greeters,
- no class leaders,
- no outreach system,
- no member records, and
- no prospect records.
When Sunday School neglects organizing for care and growth, connected people fail to receive the care they need. They stop growing and drop out. They no longer invest in growing the church and the Kingdom. They withdraw from serving as workers in the harvest.
Not only that, but when Sunday School neglects organizing for care and growth, they are unprepared to reach out and care for new people. They are not prepared for guests to come. They are not ready to follow up. They are not thinking about their needs and how to meet them. There are too few people trying to care for current members to provide care for any new people. That ensures that growth will never become a priority concern. Growth will not happen.
Where is your Sunday School? Are you organized for care and growth? For additional ideas about growing your Sunday School, check out these blog posts: