Each Sunday School and group are unique. Each has different people and needs. As a result, some priorities will vary from church to church and group to group. However, these 5 Sunday School actions are needed by all as we move through and beyond COVID.
Without these actions, I fear that many Sunday Schools, groups, and churches will not recover from the pandemic. But those Sunday Schools and groups that take steps to carry out these actions may see stronger days ahead than they were experiencing before the pandemic. Pray to that end now!
5 Sunday School Actions
Every Sunday School and group has the opportunity now to set aside time to focus in these 5 areas:
- Prayer. As followers of Jesus, seeking His leadership is essential. Praying to the Lord of the Harvest to send workers is vital. And prayer helps us in moving boldly to join Him where He is working to bring life to Sunday School. Prayer infuses the following actions.
- Planning. Planning begins with prayer and includes evaluation, identifying needs, prioritizing, setting goals, and making plans. Ownership of the plans comes when they are discussed. That is why every Sunday School and group should set aside time to plan. Planning infuses the following actions.
- New leaders. The harvest needs more workers. Our job is to pray and open our eyes to discover workers God has sent. Then we invite them to join us in that work. In a group or Sunday School, the span of care is about 5 people per leader. To reach and care for more people, we need more leaders in existing groups and for new groups. New leaders are critical to the following actions.
- New groups. Adding groups mobilizes more leaders to care for more people. New groups tend to grow faster because they reach newer and lost people. Each new group tends to help the Sunday School grow by 10 in attendance and 20 in enrollment within 12-18 months. Leaders for new groups are discovered, blessed, and sent out from existing adult groups.
- New people. Sunday Schools and groups leak. People leave because of death, sickness, job transfer, sin, and many other reasons. In many Sunday Schools, annual attrition is about 10%, but it could be higher. In order to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), groups and Sunday Schools will want to pray for and pursue new people. Some dropouts will not return. But more than 80% of our communities are not in church on any given Sunday. Let’s pray, care, and invite them now!
When Will You Pray and Plan?
These 5 Sunday School actions are essential. It is never too early or too late to pray and plan. Gather your leaders. Want to gather as many as possible? Then give each of them an assignment during the meeting. (Hint: Don’t ask them only to bring food which can be dropped off.) The more the individuals in the planning room are involved in the planning, the more they will be likely to own the plans and to help carry out the work.
When will you set aside enough time to pray and plan? Don’t rush the planning or the individuals will not have adequate time to discuss and own the plans. At the end of your initial planning time, set a date for an update time where everyone will gather to share about actions taken as a result of the planning time. At the end of that gathering, set your next dates for follow up updates. Accountability and encouragement ensures consistent progress. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!