Many realize that starting new classes is a key to growing the Sunday School. More importantly, starting new classes is key for helping the Sunday School “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). But do you understand that starting a new class is also absolutely essential in the growth of your Sunday School class? Consider these seven quick reasons:
- PRAYER. There is something about praying for something that prepares you for it. Praying for a new class prepares you for the possibility. It raises expectations. It focuses on what God wants to do. It moves me to making myself available for God to use me. Praying grows the class while preparing for the new one.
- VISION. Every class needs a goal that is beyond them. The goal should be God-led and God-sized. It should be a goal that when accomplished can only result in giving Him praise and thanks. Each class needs to look beyond themselves to the purpose for their existence and what God has called them together to accomplish for Him. A natural expression of that purpose is multiplication as Christians, leaders, and classes.
- LEADER-DEVELOPMENT. One class will not produce as many leaders as two. And one class will often not produce more leaders unless there is a need beyond its own. Give the class a reason for apprenticing more care group leaders, more outreach leaders, another class secretary, another teacher, and other leaders. Help them to see the need for the leaders and for the training. Adding apprentice leaders can add ideas, energy, and time to important tasks and help the class prepare for the launch of the new class.
- DISCIPLE-MAKING. People are more satisfied when they are making spiritual progress. Growth often entails practicing what is learned. Serving is a natural step in growing as a disciple. Another class gives opportunity for this. It can explain what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2 about passing along what was learned to others who can teach others. Teach them to teach others. A new class gives a purpose for this.
- OUTREACH. If your class is going to start another class, then they need to reach out. No, it is not the job of the new class solely to do so. Prepare your class to launch the new class with a seed group of the apprentice and at least two to five other people. Ideally each member of this seed group will be a trained leader ready and willing to work to help the class to grow. But adding them to the current class until the launch of the new class will also add energy and focus to reaching out now.
- FOLLOW UP. The goal of starting a new class raises the stakes on developing good follow up of worship and class guests. Retention of guests is important. Getting them to visit a second and third time and ultimately join the class are goals. If the next class is going to do it right, they need it modeled by the current class. Put a good system in place and apprentice a leader to help with it who can be sent out to help the new class do it well.
- FIRST IMPRESSIONS. A new class reminds the current class about the need to greet and meet new people. It is a reminder about the appearance of the classroom as well as the behavior of the people early during the session as well as during and beyond. This should not be assumed, but rather it should be addressed by enlisting greeters who will lead the class to give intentional attention here. This is an important lesson that all new classes need to learn and that can be best taught by having observed it in a class which plans to start a new class.
There are many more reasons why starting a new class will help you grow your class. What reason would you add to this list? Which of these reasons can help you lead your class to take steps to launch a new class this year? Pray and prepare to take steps to grow your class by starting a new one. Be revolutionary!