This is Part 16 of a 20 part series responding to the questions in How Can I Grow My Sunday School Class Numerically? Question 16 is this one: Invite guests to special class studies (during Sunday School or at other times). This series began in response to Jesus’ command in the Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations.”
Our communities are filled with people who have many needs for which Jesus and God’s Word are the answer. Often, lessons in ongoing weekly curriculum address those needs and are beneficial to members and prospects. Lead class members to invite guests. Encourage them this Sunday to look at next week’s lesson title and focus so they can be prayerfully sensitive to needs discovered throughout the week. Remind the class about every upcoming unit of study. Teach your attenders to share a Sunday School testimony (see Sunday School Testimony: Powerful Revolutionary Tool) when they are inviting guests to a specific lesson or unit.
When guests show up in class, greet them well (see Revolutionary Sunday School Classes Have Greeters). Get to know them. Teach well. Involve the class in the lesson. And make sure you invite guests to add their names to the class (prayer-ministry-fellowship) list (see Grow Your Sunday School Class with a Prayer-Ministry-Fellowship List). Add guests to your prospect list. Follow up caringly, consistently, and continually (see Caringly Follow up Every Sunday School Guest).
Besides inviting guests to lessons from the ongoing weekly curriculum, you can also offer special studies. These can be done on Sunday morning or through the week. They can be at church or in a home, restaurant, or business. Sometimes discipleship studies which can help Christians grow can also be needed by FRANs (friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors) in our communities. For instance, handling money, raising children, understanding my purpose in life, and more can be attractive to those in the class and beyond. These can be great hooks for attenders and prospects.
Sometimes having the special study away from the church can attract people who won’t come to the church. Then when they get to know the class and enjoy the study together with you, they may be more inclined to continue to study God’s Word together with you at church on Sunday. When you offer a special study, also plan to offer a fellowship or project opportunity during the period of the study (see Grow Your Sunday School Class by Partying and Love People to Jesus Through Sunday School Class Serving Projects). Make sure you register guests and use name tags during the studies, even when in a home.
Also remember that as many as 40% cannot attend on Sunday morning due to work and other life conflicts. So offering a study at another time can allow some to connect that would not otherwise be able to do so. Make sure to encourage your class attenders to invite guests for the study for two or three weeks prior to and a couple of weeks after the start of the special study.
Invite guests to weekly lessons. Invite them to special studies. Greet them. Connect with them. Involve them. Follow up. Enroll them. Pray for them. Fellowship with them. Watch your class grow. Be revolutionary!