In Part 14, I will take a look at the fourth and final growth projection goal: baptisms. Over the last several blog posts, I have expanded on a post I wrote four years ago entitled Sunday School Growth Spiral. There I shared growth goals from Andy Anderson’s book, The Growth Spiral. In his book, Andy referred to Sunday School attendance, worship attendance, offerings, and baptisms as projection goals.
As I have previously stated, projection goals generally happen naturally as a result of pursuit of quantity goals (enrollment, prospects); quality goals (teaching units, workers, workers meeting attendance, training); and outreach/ministry goals (space, contacts, and outreachers). For instance, when we pursue all these other goals, baptisms will usually increase. Perhaps that should not be surprising. Let me explain.
When Sunday School classes prayerfully pursue goals of enrollment, prospects, contacts, and outreachers, new people will come. They will come as a result of being prayed for, cared for, and invited. Some who connect relationally with people in the class, come to fellowships and projects, enjoy meals together, and attend the class will enroll in the class.
And some of these new people who attend and enroll in the classes, will be lost. On average, one out of three lost people who attend Sunday School over a twelve month period will accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Only one out of 342 who attend worship only over a twelve month period will accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Because we care, we will want to invite lost attenders out of our worship services.
Let me be clear, baptisms are not a formula. They are the result of the work of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus sent us as His disciples into the world to “make disciples of all nations” which means we have responsibility to pray, care, and share. The key to having more baptisms in Sunday School is praying, connecting relationally with lost people, caring for them, inviting them to class and class activities, and sharing Jesus conversationally and in the course of studying God’s Word together. If we want more baptisms, we must be faithful to connect, invite, and enroll MORE lost people. The more lost people who attend, the more who will be saved.
Also, when new teachers and workers are enlisted to start new classes in more space, those classes tend to grow faster. They tend to attract new people. And they tend to be more evangelistic. In other words, more lost people tend to come to new classes and to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. So another strategy for increasing baptisms is to start more classes.
So you can see that more lost people being saved is the normal result from pursing this set of goals which is often called Growth Spiral goals. While Andy’s The Growth Spiral is out of print, you can still find used copies for sale online to add to your Sunday School library. Pray. Set goals. Invite. Enroll. Watch as unsaved prospects visit, join the class, and are saved. Be revolutionary!