You may be in the best classroom for your group, but many are not. Allow me to share 5 scenarios before I share how you can know you are in the best space:
- Your senior adult ladies group has met in the same room for years. Recently, you have lost half of your members to moves, poor health, and death.
- Your group of parents of teenagers has grown. The last three Sundays, the group has had members sit in the hallway because there is not enough space in the classroom.
- Your group of teen boys has met in a corner of the fellowship hall for the last year. Every Sunday people enter the church through the fellowship hall during Sunday School.
- The five preschoolers you teach are very active, literally bouncing off the walls of your 120 ft2 room.
- The room your group uses is nice except for the recent water damage, oh and the strong odor of mildew.
Characteristics of the Best Classroom
Just because a space is available does not make it ideal. It may actually be best for another group. Consider some of the following characteristics when you are determining the best classrooms for your Sunday School classes:
- it is not too large or too small (when a class is too small for the space, it can be depressing to those attending; when a group is too large for the space, it can be dangerous)
- the space allows the group to grow (an increase of 25-50% of current attendance)
- it is on the right floor (space for preschool, groups with physical disabilities, and senior adults usually are best on the first floor or the same level as the sanctuary)
- there are minimal interruptions (with or without ADD or ADHD, people can become visually distracted from people walking through space or from activity outside a window)
- it allows the right square footage for the age group assigned (preschoolers each need 35 ft2, children need 25 ft2, teens and adults need 15 ft2)
- it has minimal junk and furnishings (remove as many chairs, tables, and other items as possible, keep only 2-5 extra chairs stored in a corner)
- people are more important than tables (each table used reduces space available for 1-2 people)
- the space is safe (it has no health or safety hazards).
Cooperate for Growth
We tend to be creatures preferring comfort, and comfort can be disrupted by change. But at least once each year, the space for every Sunday School class should be examined to determine if the group is meeting in the best classroom available. That may mean that a senior adult men’s class needs to move for a new preschool class. It make mean that combining two senior adult groups requires a new space.
It is essential that we keep in mind that Jesus is the Good Shepherd of the sheep (John 10); we are stewards of the sheep He has placed in our care. And the sheep pens (classrooms) all belong to Him too. In order to provide the best care for all of the sheep, cooperation is needed. Keep in mind this reminder from Paul:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.Philippians 2:3-4, CSB
Look for every opportunity to ensure classrooms are provided in which the Lord can work through the class to win the lost and disciple the saved. Avoid anything that would hinder maturational and numerical growth. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!