When you look at your Sunday School, church, and community, do you know the possibilities? Have you prayer walked your community? Have you completed a demographics study of your community? Who lives around your church? What are their age groups? How many of them do not attend a church?
Revolutionary Sunday School leaders do more than manage what is already there. Instead, revolutionary Sunday School leaders pursue God-sized dreams. They pray God-sized prayers. They believe God is at work, leading, and will bless. These leaders have yes-God attitudes. Revolutionary Sunday School leaders lead teachers and classes to look beyond the walls of the church to consider the possibilities.
Consider God-Sized Possibilities
Consider the following from a handout used by Wayne Poling (retired from Lifeway, The 5-Step Formula for Sunday School Growth):
- Church members not enrolled in Bible study.
- Guests in worship services.
- People who attend special events and ministries through the church—i.e. Vacation Bible School, special concerts, or family events.
- Parents and siblings of preschoolers, children, and youth enrolled in other Sunday School or in Vacation Bible School.
- Extended family members, friends, neighbors, or associates of people who are members of your church or are enrolled in other Sunday School.
- Conduct a neighborhood Opinion Poll around your church or by a telephone survey.
- Obtain information from a newcomer welcoming organization about persons/families who have moved into your community.
- Designate a Sunday in which members complete a card asking for information about potential prospects.
- Organize a “Prospect Watch” in member neighborhoods, encouraging members to look for persons/family moving into the area.
- Conduct community or neighborhood Scripture distribution visitation.
- Use birth records to discover potential prospects for your Sunday School ministry to preschoolers and parents.
- Special Day to Honor Special Groups—i.e. teachers.
- Kindergarten, Day Care, Mother’s Day Out programs and church recreation programs and teams sponsored by your church.
- Instant Prospect Search—Take a few minutes during Sunday School to ask people to identify prospects that are family members, relatives, neighbors, work associates, friends, and acquaintances that are not Christians or involved in Bible study.
- First Contact/Baby Hunt—church-wide awareness of, outreach plan, and ministry to expectant parents and families with preschoolers (birth to one year).
- Special Education—church-wide awareness of unchurched families with family members with special education needs.
Opening Eyes to Take Steps
In my experience, many of us need help in opening our eyes to possibilities all around us. The best way to start is to pray, solo and as a group. Sharing demographics results can help. Asking for testimonies about FRANs (friends, relatives, associates, neighbors) can spark personal and group concern.
Once our eyes are open, it is easier to take steps–individually and together. Consider the possibilities above. Which one seems like a natural fit for your group? What do you need to do to get the ball rolling in pursuit of the one you chose? Pray. Pursue. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!