Last year, I wrote an entry entitled 5 Goals for Sunday School Growth This Year. There are so many goals that Sunday School can and should pursue. Many of the goals I could suggest beyond the 5 goals I shared last year are really means or action plans for accomplishing those goals. So allow me continue my review of the 5 goals, suggesting some actions that may help you take steps toward accomplishing them this year. Here is part 2:
START NEW CLASSES: I mentioned previously that new wineskins hold new wine better than old wineskins. Let me add, a sheep pen can only hold so many sheep; in order to care for more sheep, you need more sheep pens. Also, when a body stops adding new cells, the body ceases to grow and begins to die. These and more Biblical Images for Starting New Classes/Groupscan be found in a previous entry. Each new class will usually grow to 10 in attendance and 20 in enrollment in 12-18 months.
Divide your goals for attendance and enrollment by these numbers to calculate how many classes will be needed to care for the addition of the new wine or sheep. Train new apprentices or potential teachers in advance. Make sure you will have the space needed for these additional classes. Budget to anticipate additional literature, furnishings, and resources. Seek classes to sponsor (pray for, invite to, and fellowship with) the new classes. Make sure all new teachers meet regularly with a coach who will support, encourage, and challenge the teacher as he/she begins.
OFFER SPECIAL EVENTS FOR PROSPECTS: In many Sunday Schools, one of the most difficult tasks is maintaining a solid list of prospects. Develop a good prospect recordkeeping system. Assigning guests to care groups can be a systematic way to contact, pray for/with, and care for prospects. Setting up regular (quarterly?) special events to seek out prospects can enable the class or Sunday School to harvest contact information in order to minister to and reach out to prospects. Make sure you register guests for VBS; Easter and Christmas musicals/dramas; Fall Festivals; block parties; revivals; youth revivals; neighborhood surveys; etc.
Be creative. Not all events have to be a church. Take the church to the community. Give bottled water away at soccer games, offering a prize for someone who registers. Start Upward basketball, soccer, or cheerleading; you don’t even have to have a gym or field. Follow up on all worship and Sunday School guests. Invite guests and prospects to class fellowships and projects.
TRAIN SUNDAY SCHOOL WORKERS: John Maxwell talks about the lid of leadership. Pastors and Sunday School directors should be some of the best trained Sunday School workers in the church. They should coach their teachers to win! And teachers and workers should be challenged to give God their best by better understanding how to be even more effective through training. Previously, I suggested offering large group training, age group training, individual book study, articles to read, and training during planning meetings. Start with the basics and build from there.
Train new teachers, care group leaders, and greeters. Plan a church event or join an associational or state event. Enlist workers with this as an expectation. Work on a workers covenant that builds in this and other high expectations. Ask every teacher to enlist and train an apprentice. Develop job descriptions. Train division directors (one for each age group: preschool, children, youth, and adult) to be coaches to support and hold teachers accountable.
These 5 goals will stretc h most Sunday Schools. In fact, any Sunday School working on all 5 goals simultaneously will often drop one or all of the goals like a juggler who is juggling more objects than he is able. Or they will work on what is easiest rather than what is most important. I want to suggest to you what Ivy Lee suggested to Charles Schwab in The Six Most Important Things I Must Do Tomorrow. Pray and work on the most important goal until it is accomplished, automatic, or assumed by your Sunday School. Then begin on the second goal until it is also done. Then all the way through your list.
Are you willing to pursue the challenge of these goals? Press the comments button below. You may inspire others. Don’t go through another year without progress. Make a difference for God, the church, and the Sunday School. Be revolutionary!