My ministry is training and consultation with leaders and members of Kentucky Baptist churches to strengthen their Sunday School and small group ministries. Even though the number of churches with small group ministries is growing, the vast majority of 2,400+ churches associated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention offer Sunday School. In fact the percentage would not be far from 100%.
But for easier math purposes, what if 2,000 of these churches started one new Sunday School class every year for the next ten years. That would be 2,000 churches starting 10 classes each for a total of 20,000 new classes. Over the years, I have observed that each class would average about 10 people in attendance meaning that these 20,000 classes would have about 200,000 people in attendance. Of course some churches could start more than one class every year.
In essence, that would more than double the average combined Sunday School attendance of these churches in just 10 years. It would increase worship attendance, baptisms, and offerings proportionally.
Yes, the increase would bring challenges. Space would be needed for the new classes. Some might need to move to dual Sunday School. Others might need to renovate or build. Some might need to move some classes into nearby space or to a time other than Sunday.
Having enough leaders apprenticed and trained will be an absolutely essential goal. Organizing for outreach and care will be necessary. Regular times of planning will be required. Blending the influx of new people into the ministry of the church can be stretching. Parking will likely need to be increased. Preschool and children's ministry will need undergirding. Restroom space may need improvement or addition.
But despite the challenges, think about the fact that the Sunday School attendance in these churches doubled in ten years. But let's personalize this goal-oriented dreaming. What is your goal for your Sunday School for the next ten years? Without a goal and plans to accomplish those goals, it will be no more than a dream or thought.
Gather your Sunday School leadership together. Ask them to pray about where God wants you to be in five years or ten. Then set a date when you will gather after they have prayed. Then listen to how they have prayed and how the Spirit has spoken to them. It is not up for debate that the Lord wants us to reach more people. He clearly told us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). But with God's help, how many will you pursue? How many classes will you start? How many new teachers and class leaders will you apprentice and train?
How will you prepare to do what He desires for you? Pray. Set God-sized goals. Start new classes. Reach new people. Take steps together to carry out the work He has given you. Be revolutionary!
For more ideas on starting new classes, check out these blog posts: