Most attenders are in Sunday School class no more than one hour out of a week. That mean there are 167 other hours to be witnesses, to be salt and light. Projects can be a great way to turn some time, talent, and resources into outreach and evangelistic opportunities for Jesus, the church, and the class.
Over the last couple of months, we have shown that Sunday School can be more inviting and evangelistic through prayer (Part 1), relationships (Part 2), fellowships (Part 3), greeting (Part 4), teaching (Part 5), application (Part 6), follow up (Part 7), contacts (Part 8), and testimonies (Part 9). In addition to these ninety ways, in Part 10 we will look at the final eleven (of 101) ways Sunday School can also be evangelistic through ministry/outreach projects:
- PRAY TOGETHER. Seek God’s leadership before planning. Praying together brings thoughts and hearts to a dependence on God before stepping out in ministry, outreach, and evangelism for Him.
- BRAINSTORM. By asking for lots of ideas after a season of prayer, you can quickly gauge a group’s support of various ideas. Look for quarterly or for ongoing opportunities, but be sensitive to needs of the moment. Give everyone the whole list and ask them to mark two or three they are most excited about and believe will have the most impact.
- PLAN TOGETHER. Get as many involved in planning as possible. Planners will naturally want to be involved in the project. Spend time praying and planning how the project can have the desired ministry, outreach, and evangelistic results.
- INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS. Challenge attenders to do random acts of kindness. Make it a class project to invite a friend. Challenge them to give Sunday night to Jesus by inviting an associate or neighbor for a meal. Teach them to share Sunday School or evangelistic testimonies. At an established time, call for a report of these individual project results.
- DISCOVER RESOURCES. Do a written survey of the class. Ask about spiritual gifts, things they are passionate about, abilities, personality, and experiences. Ask where they work and if they volunteer anywhere. Ask about needs and opportunities they see in their neighborhood and beyond. Collect and study the responses. Look for a reason why God has put this group together. What does He want them to do for Him?
- FOCUS THE FIELD. Sometimes it is difficult to get excited or see potential with ten ideas. Focus . Narrow the list. Choose one or two. Then get input. I know a church that prepared Little League ball field s before the season. It opened so many more doors than they imagined. It led to many spiritual conversations. I t allowed an ongoing witness.
- MEET A NEED. Listen. Look around you. Ask attenders to discover ministry and outreach opportunities around them. Help them look and listen in different places every week for a month. When a need has been identified, meet it. Do it well. Do it with the love of Christ. Minister. Care. Connect. Make time to share Jesus.
- ACTS 1:8. Why not develop quarterly projects for your Jerusalem (city), Judea (state), Samaria (country or unreached people group), and ends of the earth (beyond the country)? I have seen classes with projects at all levels of this.
- GIVE AND GO. Collect money to meet immediate and ongoing needs and project plans. But help people to avoid thinking that giving is a substitute for going. My class is currently collecting money for landscaping and plants around a new wheelchair ramp for a man who can no longer walk. And the class is planning a work day to complete the project. The bottom line is care. Also, don’t forget to share Jesus in the course of the project.
- INVITE. When possible, invite unenrolled and lost prospects to help and get to know you during projects. I remember a church work day to which a senior men’s class invited a lost friend. He got to know the men during the work. And came to Sunday School the next day. And after attending six weeks straight, he accepted Jesus as Savior. Allow people to Jesus in you during projects.
- DEBRIEF. As with all 100 of the previous ways for Sunday School to be evangelistic, improvement comes through debriefing the experience, evaluating the process, and making adjustments. Talk about not only the impact on the class, but also talk about the impact for our Lord and the impact on lost and unconnected people. How could that impact be increased? What went well? What could be done better next time? Keep written records of debriefing sessions.
What would you add to these ideas for leading our classes to be more evangelistic through ministry/outreach projects? Choose one or two and of the ideas above to implement in your class this week!