I understand reasons why some object to or are fearful of starting new class. The reasons include some of the following:
- fear of losing friends,
- fear of change,
- fear of conflict,
- desire not to change meeting spaces,
- desire not to change teacher/group facilitator,
- past bad experiences with class splits, and
- past bad experiences with change in general.
Yet, in my experience, many are willing to “take the risk” if they understand the purpose and importance of new groups. Raise their level of vision and expectation. Help them to see the benefit to the Kingdom, church, and even the class. Lead them to prepare an apprentice. Help them avoid the split–help them work toward sending out a seed group of 1-5 persons along with the apprentice (or the teacher).
Along with all of these suggestions, it can also helps to lighten the mood. Humor can break the ice. It can reduce fear and add hope. LifeWay Christian Resources has developed a video that is available on YouTube. It is entitled Birthing a Sunday School Class: One Man’s Story. It is a humorous look at launching a new class.
I want to encourage you to watch the video. I want to encourage you to share the video with others. Challenge your Sunday School to apprentice teachers and birth new classes. Be revolutionary!