Steps Toward Sunday School Change, Part 1

Wednesday 26th August, 2009

I have been thinking about all the Sunday Schools that need to move from a neglected state of Sunday School toward a more revolutionary state. What does it take to move a teacher from neglected to revolutionary work? What does it take for a Sunday School director or pastor to move Sunday School from neglected to revolutionary? For a picture of what a neglected state of Sunday School looks like, check out these blog posts:

I am not finished with my thinking yet, but I wanted to share some initial thoughts. While there are specific responses to each of the areas of neglect mentioned above, some overall steps are required for making change, for moving from neglected to revolutionary Sunday School. In Part 1 of this series, will look at the first three of nine steps toward Sunday School change that I have identified. Help me think about this issue further. Leave comments after you read each Part of the series.

It should be noted that all of the following require leadership. So it is an assumed tenth step. Consider the following:

  • PRAYER. The first step in making any change is to be in a daily relationship with God from which all ministry and leadership flows. Relationship with God is primary. But when God lea ds you to focus on a need, problem, or goal, prayer is a natural response. Pray for God's presence, help, and leadership. Pray for the situation. Pray for the people involved and impacted. Pray for additional leaders and resources needed. Pray for interest and attitudes. Pray for results. Pray for God to be honored. Pray for lives to be touched and changed. Don't rush prayer. Pray before, during, and after change.
  • ATTENTION. After you have prayed and led others to pray, you need to raise interest in the issue. Unless the change only involves you, it is essential to call others' attention to the problem or need in order to address it. Even if you can make the change by yourself, most change would benefit from having others involved. But when others are involved, they won't likely move toward change unless they see it. If it involves facilities, take them on a space walk. If it involves adding a ministry, take them to see how it is done well elsewhere. Calling attention to the issue in a visual way is much more powerful than verbal only.
  • EVALUATION. In order to move others toward change, it helps to lead them honestly to evaluate the situation. Gather information and input. Ask questions. Share statistics when available. What is working well now? What would be the benefits of making the change? What will be the difficulties? How could the roadblocks be handled? How will the change honor God and help to carry out His work even better? Evaluation can cause a reaction/response. Allow others to share their viewpoints and try to learn from the content and emotion. Be prepared for hesitation and resistance. And be prepared for those who will want to move faster than the group can handle.

In Part 2 and Part 3, I will share the final six steps: evaluation, motivation, commitment, ownership, action, and repeat. How do you fare on the first three steps? Which is your strength? your weakness? What would you add or change to these early steps? Let's get a conversation going that strengthens Sunday School. Let's move from neglected to revolutionary Sunday School. Let's give God our best efforts. Let's make a difference for Him. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about Sunday School change, check out these blog posts:

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