On September 4, I posted an entry entitled, Top Ten Actions to Increase Sunday School Attendance. In Part 1, I offered additional details, suggestions, and illustrations about the first four of the ten attendance-increasing actions: prayer, starting new classes, making more contacts, and inviting members and guests to monthly fellowships. In Part 2, we will examine the impact of enlisting a class leadership team, setting enrollment and attendance goals, and organizing to reach out and meet needs.
- ENLISTING A CLASS LEADERSHIP TEAM. There are many ways to organize a class. You can organize into three teams: reaching, teaching, and caring. You can enlist leaders/teams around the five functions of the church: evanglism, discipleship, ministry, fellowship, and worship. You can organize by functions you want accomplished, like the FISH strategy: fellowship, intercession/instruction, service (ministry), and hope (evangelism). You can organize your class to be S.M.A.R.T. (October 26 entry): serve/start new classes, minister, assimilate, reach, and teach. The point is that pastors and teachers are to equip the saints for works of service (Ephesians 4:11)–they are not to do all the work themselves. Apprentice and give away. Assign and check on progress. When you do so, the energy and synergy will lead to increased ownership of the work and increased attendance.
- SETTING ENROLLMENT AND ATTENDANCE GOALS. Someone needs to take the point in growing the class. Ask the class to pray and set God-sized goals (like adding one person per month as was mentioned in the previous blog entry). People like to be invited. Ask every guest who attends your class. When you meet guests in worship, invite them to attend, to your class fellowship, and to join your class. Challenge the class to develop a prospect list that equals or exceeds the number of your class enrollment. Every time a new person joins, ask them for prospect names. Celebrate each addition. Remind the class of the goals they set and are praying and working to accomplish.
- ORGANIZING TO REACH OUT AND MEET NEEDS. When a class does a poor job of caring, people leave. They drop out. They stop attending. They go to other churches. Rather than lose someone you have already reached, organize your class into care groups to care for your members and prospects. Each care group leader cares for 3 members and 3 prospects. Brief caring calls are made weekly to members and propsects to listen, care, pray, invite to the next class fellowship, etc. Don’t be one of the classes who think they are growing because of additions but who are losing members faster out the back door. Grow your class by caring for members and prospects, and watch how your faithfulness in caring for His sheep is rewarded!
In Part 3, we will look at how seeking more participation in the lesson, teaching members to share their Sunday School testimony, and starting new Bible study groups away from church ca n lead to increased attendance. My reminder from last time was that not all of the sheep we are to care for are already in the sheep pen (John 10:16). So, begin today enlisting your leadership team, setting enrollment and attendance goals, and organizing to reach out and meet needs. Serve Him. Lead them. Be revolutionary!