In Part 1, I emphasized that this blog is an attempt to challenge the status quo in Sunday School. It is about raising expectations, giving God our best efforts, doing things right, and building a strong foundation. It is about making Sunday School effective, life-changing, and revolutionary! Then I mentioned that the building blocks of Sunday School are the individual classes, teachers, and leaders. It takes revolutionary Sunday School directors, pastors, teachers, and leaders to make Sunday School and individual classes strong.
That is why I began sharing eleven building blocks suggested by Paul Hata in an article entitled How to Build and Grow a Strong Church. In Part 1, I shared the first four of Hata’s “methods you can use to build and grow a strong church.” In Part 2, I will share the middle four of Hata’s twelve building blocks [applied to the Sunday School class] in all capitals each followed by my commentary:
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE TASK. This is important! Do not go for the first volunteer or a person simply because he/she is popular. Enlist a God-called person for every task. Pray. Observe. Watch the person in class and away. Listen to what he/she says as well as watch what he/she does and how he/she lives. Seek to understand the individual’s gifts, passions, personality, and experiences and how they intersect with the task. And don’t enlist and then drop them; coach the right person to successfully accomplish the task!
- DO NOT SET TOO MANY GOALS AT ONE GO. Many Sunday Schools and classes set no goals. That leads to failure and misses opportunity to work together to achieve something significant. But setting too many goals also leads to failure. We can only juggle so many priorities, goals, plans, and foci. Attention, energy, and enthusiasm become too diluted. Like Hata, I recommend pursuing only one or two goals at a time. For more ideas about class and Sunday School goals, type “goals” in the search box on the upper right side of this blog. Teacher, help your class focus on priorities and keep the goal(s) in front of the class!
- IF YOU SET A GOAL, SET IT HIGH. Set a God-sized goal that can only be accomplished with God’s blessing and help. Then, when it is reached remember to give God the praise and thanks He deserves. Setting a goal high helps the class to break out of habits and old ways of thinking. It stretches their vision and ideas. It makes attenders rely upon God. For more on this, check out Set God-Sized Goals for Sunday School Growth, Grow Your Sunday School: Set Goals This Year, How LARGE Should We Make Our Sunday School Goals?, Plan for Your Sunday School to Grow This Year, Part 1, Plan for Your Sunday School to Grow This Year, Part 2, How BIG Is Your Vision for Sunday School?, Increasing Sunday School Class Attenda nce, Part 1, and Next-Level Sunday School. As Hata stated, “A church will come nearer reaching a high goal than a low one.” Teacher, lead your class to set God-sized goals!
- EAT IN THE HOMES OF YOUR MEMBERS. There is just something about getting to know someone over a meal. And when you do so in a home, it is even more special. Invite them to your home. And as Hata states, “When invited for a meal, try never to reject such an invitation.” It is in casual conversation and interaction outside of class that the deepest, most trusting relationships are built. And as a result, members are more willing to take risks in their spiritual growth and in class growth. They will be more likely to follow where the Lord and you lead. Teacher, set aside time to eat with your members (and prospects)!
Evaluate your class. Want to make it even stronger this year? Review Part 1 and check out Part 3 for the final three building blocks. Circle one building block in each part of this three-part series. Then number the three circled building blocks in order of priority for your class. Begin focusing on the most important building block right away. Give it attention until enough progress has been made that you can begin work on number two. Build a strong Sunday School class. Be revolutionary!