Over the next three weeks, I will be writing a book about Sunday School. During that period, I will be sharing favorite blog posts–those which have received the most hits (pageviews). Here is the number fifteen favorite!
Many Sunday Schools have been going through the motions for years. Leaders have been doing the same things year after year. There is little passion, little planning, no goals, and little sensitivity to God’s leadership. That is NOT revolutionary Sunday School. Revolutionary Sunday School has a target. It is following God’s leadership. It is heading somewhere. It desires to accomplish something.
Revolutionary Sunday School seeks God and His leadership. Revolutionary Sunday School cares too much about people to leave them alone. As a result, there is a desire to care for hurts, meet needs, share Jesus, create followers, develop disciples, mobilize servants, and apprentice and train leaders. Revolutionary Sunday School refuses to go through the motions but desires to blaze new trails in order to bring about life-change and to reach and develop new people. Revolutionary Sunday School sets goals in order to accomplish more and to give expectancy, purpose, and vision for everyone.
I read an article on LifeWay’s website entitled, Set 5 Key Goals to Improve Your Sunday School. In the article, 5 goals are shared for your Sunday School evaluation and planning: prayer, increased enrollment, starting new classes, special events for prospects, and training for Sunday School workers. Wow, that is a great list. Following are the five areas from the article (in all CAPITALS) followed by my commentary. I also enlarged the second goal.
- PRAYER: Set aside special time on your personal and church calendar to pray for your Sunday School, classes, leaders, and members. Listen to God’s still small voice. Seek His leadership and power. Step boldly out in response. Recognize His blessings and give Him praise and thanks. Pray for your plans and goals. Pray, and set prayer goals this year!
- INCREASED ENROLLMENT/ATTENDANCE/CONTACTS: When enrollment increases, attendance tends to increase. Adding someone to a class list is a way for the class to know they have an opportunity to pray for, care for, minister to, and fellowship with someone new. Those actions often result in attendance at class fellowships and Sunday School. One vital method for increasing enrollment and attendance is making more contacts: calls, cards/letters, e-mail, and visits. What should be your goals? Pray, and set a God-sized enrollment goal (remember to give Him the credit when you reach it).
- START NEW CLASSES: New wineskins hold new wine better than old wineskins. Similarly, new classes attract and hold new people even better than existing classes. For every 10 additional people you want to increase in attendance, start a new class. Don’t wait until they come. Add new classes throughout the year. Pray, and set a goal for new classes you will start during the year.
- SPECIAL EVENTS FOR PROSPECTS: Setting goals for weekly contacts with members and prospects is important. But I also like the idea of having special events. When you have special events, register your attenders and expect your Sunday School classes to reach out to the prospects you discover. Special events are a way of intentionally focusing our attention and efforts on prospects: FRANs (friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors) who do not attend Sunday School. Have fun together. Get to know one another. Let’s fellowship prospects into attendance, relationship, and the Kingdom! Pray, and set a goal for special events for prospects.
- TRAIN SUNDAY SCHOOL WORKERS: Give your best to God ! Help your workers understand how to reach, teach, and care even better. Offer large group training, age group training, individual book study, articles to read, and train during planning meetings. Start with the basics and build from there. Train new teachers. Train care group leaders and greeters for every adult and youth class. Plan a church event or join in an associational or state training event. Your workers are important. Give them your best. Expect their best. Pray, and set a goal for Sunday School worker training.
What are the revolutionary possibilities for your Sunday School if you set goals in these area? Pray! Dream! Set goals! Work! Watch as God blesses! Be revolutionary!