Jesus commanded us as His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt 28:19-20, NIV). How can Sunday School help?
There are lots of ways. Consider the following three:
- Start more classes and release more apprentices who will invite, disciple, and send out more disciples. For more information, check out Is It Time to Start a New Sunday School Class?, Biblical Images for Starting New Classes/Groups, Five Types of Sunday School Classes You Can Start Next, Diagnosis Murder: How to Split a Class, andWould You Like to Double Your Sunday School Space?.
- Invite more guests to class, homes, and fellowship activities. For more information, check out Invitation to Sunday School, Sunday School Fellowship: More Than Food and Fun, Ten Values of Monthly Sunday School Fellowships, and Reach and Assimilate People into the Kingdom Through Sunday School Fellowships.
- Train class members to share Sunday School testimonies. For more information, check out Sunday School Testimony: Powerful Revolutionary Tool and Pulpit Sunday School Promotion.
Another important way is inviting prospects and guests to enroll. For more information, check out Has Your Sunday School Enrollment Increased Lately?, Using Sunday School Enrollment to Grow, Part 1 (both parts), and Use Your Sunday School Records to Reach and Care for More People, Part 1 (both parts). Now why did I use both words, “prospects” and “guests?” Allow me to define them. Guests are those people who are or have been in attendance in class or worship. Prospects have not yet attended, live in proximity to the church, and do not attend Sunday School elsewhere. Read the first sentence of this paragraph and allow my meaning to sink in.
You see, a person does not have to attend Sunday School to be enrolled. No, they only have to be willing. And we only have to be willing to add them to a class list and to care for them. So here is the question: are you willing to care for a new member who has not yet attended your class? Revolutionary Sunday School teachers, leaders, and members are willing to do so! If we enroll people, “care about” them, and provide “care for” them, many will eventually attend.
I read a great blog post by the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Fulton, Mississippi. The post is simply entitled Importance of Sunday School Enrollment. I encourage you to read his entire post, but allow me to share part of it:
When should people be enrolled in Sunday School. Years ago, churches adopted a practice that a new person had to attend three times before being added to the roll. The more you think about it, the less sense that makes! Church growth experts seem to be in unanimous agreement that people ought to be immediately enrolled any time they’re willing and anywhere we can find them.
This thinking says that people don’t even have to be at church to be enrolled, but they do need to agree. For instance, a Sunday School member could meet an acquaintance at the grocery store and, upon learning that this person is not actively involved in church, could ask, “Could I enroll you in our Bible Study class? Being added to our class roll doesn’t mean that you are joining the church, but it does mean that you will be considered part of our class.” Statistics say that when people know they have an official connection, they are far more likely to follow through with personal commitment….
People who are enrolled in Sunday School are more likely to attend. The other class members will see their names week after week, when they do not attend, and they will be more likely to check up on them. It is said that one out of every 300 unsaved people who come and visit in a worship service will receive Christ, but one out of every two unsaved people who enroll in Sunday School will receive Christ!
Anybody can enroll others in Sunday School. Simply get the person’s permission to be enrolled, get his name, address, phone number, etc., and turn it in to the Sunday School class secretary.
Want your church and Sunday School to grow this year? Then I want to challenge you to set class and Sunday School goals for increasing your enrollment. Jesus is expecting us to “make disciples of all nations.” One important way to do so is to enrollment them in Sunday School. Then invite, care about, and care for them. Disciple the disciples, and then send them out to bring in more prospects. Increase your enrollment. Be revolutionary!