I have walked with church leaders through many buildings pointing out areas in need of attention. So often those leaders had been oblivious to the needs before I pointed them out. You see, after about three weeks, we don’t see areas needing attention.
In a similar way, participants in Sunday School often don’t see prospects in their day-to-day paths. We are surrounded by them. They are at work, home, school, the grocery, the gas station, the restaurant, and everywhere we go. Well, actually many are suspects, not prospects. What do I mean? Until you have contact information and know whether they are involved in in Sunday School elsewhere, they are suspects.
How can we “open our eyes” to the the prospects all around us? Sometimes it is as simple as changing our mindset. For instance, how would you respond to your pastor if he walked with you through the week and asked, “Does that person go to Sunday School?” Or what if Jesus walked with you and asked, “Does that person know me?” Wow, that changes your perspective!
Another suggestion is to focus your attention. It can be hard to see the tree for the forest at times. Instead of looking for “prospects,” look for specific age groups or specific categories of prospects. For instance, when you begin to look for adults age 18-34, it is amazing how many you will see along your path. Invite them. Or if you are looking for FRANs (friends, relatives, associates, or neighbors), your mind is able to see them.
When driving through your neighborhood, watch for people who are moving in. Go by and visit. Take a welcome gift. Introduce yourself. If their age group is appropriate, invite them to your class. If not, invite them to your Sunday School and church, and share contact information with the appropriate class to follow up.
Let me share one final suggestion for focusing your attention on prospects. Don’t forget to notice the prospects that show up at church! Work hard to get contact/registration information from them for follow up when they are in worship or in Sunday School. Look over the church membership rolls for those who are not members of Sunday School. Focus on prospects identified at Vacation Bible School and special events (always register your guests). Encourage other ministries to share their membership information with Sunday School so you can pursue them (someone may join the Choir, WMU, or another group but not be a member of Sunday School).
Focus. Focus. Focus. Open your eyes to see the prospects all around you. Look with the eyes of Jesus. Reach out in love. Invite. Be revolutionary!