Rick Warren wrote a great article entitled How to Grow a Healthy Church. Rick is clear that a church that is not growing is dying! He says the secret to church health is balance. And that balance could be found in the early church (Acts 2:42-47). In the article, Rick lists five dimensions of a healthy church that should be in balance. These healthy church dimensions are also the same required by a healthy, growing Sunday School class.
Rick’s dimensions are listed below with the word, classes, substituted for churches. His list is in all capitals followed by my suggestions for each area follow in bullet form. Consider these dimensions of a healthy, growing class and ways those dimensions can be strengthened:
1. CLASSES GROW WARMER THROUGH FELLOWSHIP.
- ministry projects
- participatory teaching methods
- affinity discovery
- name tags
2. CLASSES GROW DEEPER THROUGH DISCIPLESHIP.
- studying God’s Word together
- challenges to read the Bible daily/through
- integrating spiritual disciplines
- application of God’s truth
- teaching using a variety of teaching methods to address preferred learning styles
- apprenticing leaders
3. CLASSES GROW STRONGER THROUGH WORSHIP.
- spending time in prayer in/between classes
- care groups praying about needs
- seeking God in group and personal Bible study
- recognizing God’s presence and work
- meeting God in Bible study
4. CLASSES GROW BROADER THROUGH MINISTRY.
- meeting needs of members, prospects, and the unchurched
- care groups
- ministry projects
- mission trips
- discovering spiritual gifts and passions
- leading every class attender to find a place of service
5. CLASSES GROW LARGER THROUGH EVANGELISM.
- changed lives are attractive
- inviting people to Sunday School
- sharing a Sunday School testimony
- inviting people to Jesus
- inviting unchurched people to member homes for a meal
- learning to share our faith
- starting new classes
What would you add to the list? Where are you out of balance? Which dimension needs more work? Where will you start? Make your class warmer, deeper, stronger, broader, and larger. Grow a healthy class! Be revolutionary!