In a series beginning with Steps Toward Sunday School Change, Part 1, I shared eight steps toward change: prayer, attention, evaluation, motivation, commitment, ownership, action, and repeat. I pointed out that leadership is the medium in which those steps are carried out. Without leadership, those steps will fail to be carried out.
In this series, I have applied each of these steps to the context of the Sunday School class: leading the class to shift focus to prospects and people not in the class. Change is needed there as well. Leadership to accomplish that change is needed. Most class change will be led by the teacher, but class change will benefit from involvement of others in the class besides the teacher. In other words, ownership for the change will help create motivation and momentum for the change.
In this blog post, I will use the same scenario to look at the fifth step: commitment. The previous steps of prayer, attention, evaluation, and motivation are preparation for change. But how do we get the class committed to consider and implement the change (focusing on prospects and people not in the class)? This is a decision to push forward, to agree to personal involvement, to commit to carry out the project to completion. Without commitment, change often loses steam, motivation declines, and distraction interrupts.
What can be done to raise commitment to God-led Sunday School class change (focusing on prospects and people not in the class)? Let me list a few of the many possibilities:
- ask what class attenders need to know in order to make a commitment to make a commitment to focusing on prospects;
- be positive, but help attenders understand what the result might be if prospects are not pursued;
- talk to individuals, ask questions, and listen for readiness to commit to taking steps to go after prospects;
- work toward consensus commitment through open discussion preceded by prayer;
- give a deadline for a decision/commitment to be made and allow time for individuals to pray and hear more;
- privately encourage attenders who are ready to commit to spend time with other class attenders to discuss the issue;
- teacher and other class leaders share their commitments to carry out the steps to reach prospects with the group;
- teacher or leaders share(s) a testimony of how someone reached out to invite them;
- listen to the group, watch their expressions and body language, and recognize whether there is consensus;
- avoid calling for a vote which can divide and alienate sides;
- if the commitment appears to be weak, give more time for prayer, reflection, and discussion;
- and many, many more.
What would you add to this list? How does your class best make commitments? How would they best commit to focus on prospects and people not in the class? Press Comments below and share your ideas. Without prayer, attention, evaluation, motivation, and commitment the change our Lord desires for your class may not result. How can you seek commitment toward the change? Don’t rush and head the wrong direction. Time for these five steps is time well-spent.
What change does God desire for your class? The place to begin the change is in prayer, attention, evaluation, and motivation. Pray for the change. Give it attention. Stop to evaluate. Motivate attender to focus on the change. Lead others t o join you. Listen to God. Follow His leadership. Help others to see the need for change and invite them to join as you gain their attention and their involvement in evaluation. Be revolutionary!
To check out the first four posts of this series, First Step Toward Sunday School Class Change: Prayer, Second Step Toward Sunday School Change: Attention, Third Step Toward Sunday School Change: Evaluation, and Fourth Step Toward Sunday School Change: Motivation.