January is a great time to freshen up your Sunday School classroom and ministry. Stop. Look around. Identify needs. Address them. Make this year your best one as a class!
Here are some ideas:
CLASSROOM. There are several things you can do to freshen up the space in which your class meets weekly. Consider the following six:
- Put up a new class sign letting everyone know who meets in your space. Make it attractive and eye-catching. Don’t be afraid to add a teacher’s name and the age group (makes people know they are in the right place).
- Clean up the space. Throw away used curriculum, old lesson maps/pictures/outlines, and other clutter. Clean the windows, marker/chalkboard, floor, and even the door. Paint if needed.
- Straighten the chairs (preferably in a circle or semi-circle)–try to use the same kind and color in each room.
- Decorate the space to make it attractive, but remember that you may need to move to allow another class to use your space in the future.
- Put up material related to the new lesson series: maps, charts, posters, etc.
- Put up a bulletin board that shows your class people and/or activities.
MINISTRY. There are several things you can also do to freshen up the ministry of your class with each other and with the community. Consider the following nine:
Review your enrollment and attendance. Which of your absentees needs special attention (care) this year? Determine a plan of action to love them back into regular attendance–being patient!
Review class enrollment and attendance goals. How have you done to reach out to and enroll new people this year so far? Do you need to adjust your goal higher? Do you need to plan a special emphasis or event to get the class more focused on inviting their friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors?
Review your class fellowships. How well planned and attended have the fellowships been this year? What can be done to improve?
Review your class ministry/outreach/mission projects. Are their people who were touched who should be follow up? What needs to be done to get ready for upcoming projects which are planned? How can you work to involve more of the class in planning and carrying out the projects?
Review your internal ministry/care organization. Are you organized to notice and respond when one person is absent? Do you have care group leaders in place? Are they functioning effectively? How will your class respond if an attender has a serious long-term need?
Review your prayer ministry. How are you organized to communicate prayer needs quickly? Do you pray for more than physical needs of attenders? Do you pray for lost people? Do you pray for the growth and impact of the class? Do you pray for attenders to grow as disciples?
Review your disciple-making efforts. Ask your members to make commitments. Ask them to read the Bible every day. Ask them to pray every day. Ask them to read their lessons each week. Ask them to invite someone every week. Ask them to do a random act of kindness each week. Ask them to develop and share a Sunday School testimony. Ask them to arrive on time.
Review your guest follow up. Make sure you are getting a registration card for every guest. Ensure you have a procedure for contacting the guest. Thank the guest for visiting and ask if he/she has any questions. Invite to an upcoming fellowship. Share class prayer requests. Ask if he/she has any prayer requests. Pray by phone. Send email. Send mail. Make visits. Don’t stop a fter one contact. Care goes on!
Review your multiplication. Commit to train a teacher apprentice and start a new class in the next eight months. Pray for the right person. Give the apprentice one-on-one training and experience. Prepare the apprentice an d the class for t he launch.
What would you add to these lists? There are many more ways you can freshen up your Sunday School class at the start of a new year. But if you don’t stop to identify them, you will miss the opportunity. Stop. Look around. Identify needs. Prioritize them. Start working on them one at a time, starting with the most important or most timely of them. Keep working on them until you have completed your list. Give God and your class your best effort this year. Be revolutionary!