In Part 1 I mentioned that most teachers start out a new class with a desire for the class to grow, for others to experience great teaching and relationships. They hope others will be attracted to class sessions and activities. But life is fast-paced, full of distractions and demands. Before long, busyness fills a teacher’s time leaving little for class growth activities beyond preparation for another lesson. And therein lies one of the main stumbling blocks to class growth: lack of focus, time, and energy spent on key actions for class growth.
Revolutionary Sunday School prioritizes growth actions. This five-part series will assume that Sunday School is a priority and will address key actions which can contribute to movement toward class growth. What are some of the actions necessary for Sunday School class growth? In Part 1, three actions were considered: reaching out, reaching in, and meeting needs. For Part 2, consider the following actions:
- LEADING. As the teacher, you are in a strategic position of leadership. Your words, example, and life have influence. Use that influence to lead your class to pursue the key actions which will lead your class to grow. Leadership is taking your group where they need to go. Prayerfully determine where God wants them to go and do everything in your power to get them there! You cannot do it by yourself. Challenge. Enlist. Encourage. Model. Assign. Set goals. Paint the vision. Show your class the steps. Set the example yourself. Affirm others who follow. Affirm positive steps forward. Very few classes achieve growth without leadership by the teacher. Grow your class through consistent efforts to lead!
- KEEPING GOOD RECORDS. Keep track of everything. Keep up-to-date contact information on class members. Keep good records of guests and their contact information. Keep good records of your caring contacts with those guests. Develop a good prospect list and records of your efforts to contact, invite, and enroll them. Track attendance by members. Note and respond out of care to those who are not in attendance. Track enrollment and contacts. Note which members are involved in serving in the class, church, and community. Note the discipleship steps taken by class members. But don’t just keep good records. Use them to encourage care, reaching, and spiritual growth. Grow your class through consistently keeping good records!
- FOLLOWING UP. Following up shows you care. When someone shares a prayer request, follow up. Check on the results. When someone has a birthday or anniversary or promotion, touch base to congratulate him/her. When guests attend your class or a fellowship, follow up. Call and thank them for attending and ask how you can pray for them. When you give the class a homework assignment, follow up. Check on how they did. If you don’t, they won’t take you seriously the next time you give homework. If you give a personal assignment, follow up. Make sure they are ready before you call on them. Otherwise, they may have forgotten and by embarrassed in front of the group. When you ask a person or the class to contact absentees, follow up. The class needs to know how to pray and respond to those who are not attending. Grow your class through consistently following up!
Think about your class. Which of these three is best done by your class? Which of these three needs strengthening? What can you do this week to take steps toward improvement in the area needing strengthening? Who can help you with that key action? Review Part 1 to consider the three previous key actions. In Part 3, we will look at three more key actions: adding worshipers to the prospect list, setting goals, and involving everyone. Lead. Keep good records. Follow up. Grow. Be revolutionary!