In order to help the body of Christ “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20), Sunday School must do more than teach. It must also reach and care. That has been my focus over the last sixteen posts, responding to the twenty methods shared in How Can I Grow My Sunday School Class Numerically?. Today’s post is in response to method seventeen:
Start a new class and invite people!
There comes a point in every class, no matter how well organized, where class growth stalls. Care for members has gaps. People are absent and not missed. Involvement of attenders in lessons is more challenging. And because of the numbers attending, new people are not prayed for and pursued with as much passion. After all, the space looks full.
Even before that point the class must determine to do what it takes to continue to reach more people. That means that every leader in the class (teacher, secretary, outreach, care group, etc.) must be apprenticing another leader. To care for more sheep requires more shepherds. In fact, one way you can clearly communicate that you are serious about starting a new class is to train an apprentice teacher who will be sent out to start another class.
Starting another class raises the vision of the class. Attenders look beyond themselves. It gives purpose to apprenticing leaders. They realize they are being prepared to multiply the work. They pay more attention to the words, example, and training. Starting another class points to a bigger mission. It points to people not reached, others who don’t know Jesus, and people in need. Starting another class points back to dependence on God and obedience to the Great Commission.
The class grows simply through preparing for the launch of the new class. They are loving God and others rather than only themselves. The expectation, hope, and attitude of the class stretches. Besides that, the expectation of reaching more people through the launch of another class also attracts more people. The class moves past some grief of sending out some members/leaders, and is excited about the new opportunity. Maturational and numerical increase occur.
And the new class enables more people to care for more people. This care puts skin on Christ’s love for them. Prayer, connecting, care, and inviting leads to attending which aids in discipling, mobilizing, and training as disciplemakers. Starting a new class gives greater purpose and direction to the work of a class. Prayerfully enlist an apprentice. Share the vision. Take steps toward starting a new class. Reach more people. Grow more disciples. Be revolutionary!