At the end of last year, I conducted a survey of Kentucky churches to determine what the differences were between growing and declining Sunday Schools. The surveys were mostly completed by Sunday School directors and pastors.
After looking at the data, I did a series of blog posts about the survey results beginning with Initial Reflections on Sunday School Survey Results, Part 1 . For the last few weeks, I have been doing a series of blog post following up my final post of that series entitled Further Reflections on Sunday School Survey Results. In that post, I shared several of the statements that showed significant differences between growing and declining Sunday Schools.
The eighth survey statement listed there which showed an analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistical difference was the following (followed by responses):
Compared to the official starting time, most classes in my Sunday School tend to start the first class activity (announcements, prayer, teaching, etc.). (On-time; Late; Early)
Question 23 Growing Declining On-time 73% 60.9% Late 27.0% 33.5% Early 0.0% 2.0%
Notice, the question uses the word, “most.” It is likely that some classes in both kinds of Sunday School had classes that started late or early. But more than half of them identified “most” of their classes as “on-time” in both growing and declining Sunday Schools. But growing Sunday Schools were even more likely to start “on-time.”
God, His people, and guests deserve our best. We should prepare and invest well in class to care for people and teach His Word. Growing Sunday Schools are more likely to start “on-time” and take advantage of every precious moment. Leaders arrive early in order to prepare and greet. They collect supplies and arrange the space. And they ensure that class activities begin on-time.
Do more classes start on-time because they are in growing Sunday Schools, or are they Sunday Schools growing because more classes start on-time? The answer is “yes.” They are both cause and effect. They are both reason and result. These results should challenge Sunday School leaders to encourage teachers to give this issue more attention. Pray. Reach out. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!