Too often today Sunday School members hesitate to invite people in worship as well as the community. Sometimes the fear comes because the members don’t know the status of suspects. What do I mean? Consider these five mental scenarios:
- I don’t want to offend him because he might be in another class. (If he is, affirm him.)
- I don’t want to make him feel guilty in case he has dropped out of a class. (Invite him to yours–it would be better for him to come to yours than to none.)
- He might not know about Sunday School and it may take time. (Quickly tell him what you value about your class, and invite him.)
- He might have had a previous bad Sunday School experience. (Tell him you are sorry to hear that, and tell him about your class and invite him.)
- He might be negative about God or the church. (Ask him if he has ever studied the Bible with a group of caring people, and invite him.)
Suspects or Prospects?
The fear will often be solved through simple conversation. What is the difference between Sunday School prospects and suspects? Consider these simple definitions:
- Prospects: Persons in our (1) people group (2) not enrolled in Sunday School (3) for whom we have contact information.
- Suspects: Persons we suspect to be in our people group, who may not be enrolled in Sunday School, or for whom we do not have contact information.
Prayerfully look for people to invite. Engage them in conversation. Find out whether they are in your class people group and are enrolled in Sunday School somewhere. Share about your class. Invite them. Get contact information so you can follow up. Plan to meet them at a church door. Turn suspects into prospects. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!