Sunday School and the Law of Large Numbers

Monday 24th August, 2009

Sunday School is about so much more than numbers. But Sunday School is a great tool for the church in carrying out the Great Commission. When Sunday School become revolutionary, classes pray, care, and reach out to those outside the class. They share the love of Christ and many of those without a relationship with Him begin one. Members and absentees receive prayer, care, and relationships that keep them connected. They are taught and discipled to live changes lives that impact the people around them. They are led to encounter God in group and personal Bible study and prayer.

Two of the many things that can make this great tool even better are prayer and implementing the law of large numbers. Through prayer there is power from a fresh connection with God. Prayer leads to awareness of God and His work in and around us. This leads naturally to direction and greater confidence. Those who pray together experience unity. Sunday School needs prayer for direction, teachers and leaders, His presence, life change, reaching and teaching efforts, caring and sharing efforts, training, launching new leaders and classes, and so much more.

In addition to prayer, implementing the law of large numbers can make revolutionary Sunday School even better. What is the law of large numbers? Let me illustrate it. Andy Anderson served for seventeen years as a church growth consultant fro the Baptist Sunday School Board (now called LifeWay Christian Resources). One principle he discovered in his research back in the 1980s and 1990s was that making 7-10 contacts (cards/letters, phone calls, or visits) beyond the usual number often resulted in at least one additional person present in Sunday School. The law of large numbers would then apply this way: making 700-1000 contacts will usually result in at least 100 persons present.

I have shared this previously: I have seen this law at work in many high attendance emphases. I remember one high attendance day which was preceded by more than 2,000 contacts above the normal number. That day we had nearly 300 people above our average in Sunday School. The law of large numbers works.

Consider some of the ways that the law of large numbers can apply:

  • contacts/invitations to attend Sunday School,
  • contacts/invitations to attend fellowship or a meal at your home,
  • invitations to join a Sunday School class,
  • leading lots of unconnected/lost people to attend Sunday School resulting in professions of faith,
  • enlisting and training lots of God-called teachers and leaders,
  • starting new classes at and away from church,
  • asking lots of people to join you in prayer for Sunday School,
  • and more.

With such a great ministry tool for helping the church to carry out the Great Commission, revolutionary Sunday School leaders know that prayer and implementing the law of large numbers can make it even better. Let's pray more. Let's get more people involved. Let's start more classes. Let's enlist and train more teachers and leaders. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about making contacts, check out these blog posts:

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