In Part 8, I will expand upon the quality goal of space. Andy referred to space, contacts, and outreachers as outreach/ministry goals. 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.
Not only is space an outreach/ministry goal, it could also easily be a quantity goal and a quality goal. Adding more space enables more classes which in turns means you can reach and care for more people. But space can be a limiting factor for some situations. In Is the Size of Your Sunday School POT Keeping You Small, Part 1and Is the Size of Your Sunday School POT Keeping You Small, Part 2, I talked about how space can limit your growth and size.
When new space is used or space is used in a new way, it can be attractive. New classes tend to reach out and grow more. They tend to be more evangelistic. When space is added to workers and teaching units, it is a powerful outreach goal.
But where can I get more space? Andy suggests several places for you to look:
- AVAILABLE SPACE. Walk through your educational space. Empty rooms of junk and items stored.
- ADJUSTED SPACE. Move classes to rooms of appropriate size to allow for growth–recognizing the square footage requirements of each age group.
- ANNULAR (ROUND) SPACE. In large open space, like a fellowship hall, start classes around a round table. Keeps each class small, keeps the teacher sitting, and uses large space well. But be careful not to use tables in normal classrooms (see Why It’s Best Not to Use Tables in Sunday School Classes).
- ADJACENT SPACE. Look around your church for homes and businesses (banks, schools, etc.) which might allow you to use or rent space on Sunday morning.
- ADDITIONAL SPACE. Plan another session of Sunday School on Sunday morning. It could be before and after worship. It could be during both worship services. It could be like this: 8:30-Sunday School, 9:45-Sunday School/Worship, 11:00-Worship. Another option (the most expensive one) is to renovate or construct more space. Realize that construction projects always take time and money.
Since space can become a limiting factor, it is wise to keep a forward look at your spiral goals and space needs (see Foundational Pillars of a Sunday School that Grows, Part 1). Be creative. Recognize that moving to a second or third Sunday School can take six months or more of communication and preparation (see Plan, Don’t Rush, Your Launch of Multiple Sunday Schools, Would You Like to Double Your Sunday School Space?, Planning Questions for Moving to Multiple Sunday Schools, Part 1, and Planning Questions for Moving to Multiple Sunday Schools, Part 2).
Consider space usage and anticipated needs regularly. Plan ahead. Be creative. If additional space is needed, start early. Plan to grow! Be revolutionary!
While The Growth Spiral, is out of print, you can still find used copies for sale online. The book is worth adding to your Sunday School library for all the practical ideas that run throughout the book!