Most teachers start a new class with a desire for the class to grow and for others to experience great teaching and relationships. Before long, busyness fills a teacher’s time leaving little for class growth activities beyond preparation for another lesson. This five-part series addresses key actions which contribute to class growth. In Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 a dozen actions have been shared: reaching out; reaching in; meeting needs; leading; keeping good records; following up; adding worshipers to the prospect list; setting and pursuing goals; involving everyone; conducting fellowships and projects; prayerfully preparing and teaching well; and providing enough space, furnishings, and equipment. In Part 3, we will look at consider three more actions:
- TRAINING AN APPRENTICE AND STARTING A NEW CLASS. Want your class, church, Sunday School, and members to grow? Then train apprentices and start new classes as fast as you can do it well! Do it over and over again! Train the apprentices to multiply. Get it into the DNA of the new class from the beginning. Enlist and train a seed group of one to five others to work with the apprentice teacher in starting the new class. Seek others to pray for and sponsor the new class start. If you had an apprentice and a seed group ready to start a new group, the lack of space (and many other problems) would be a barrier you would work to overcome. See the links below for lots more help. Grow your class through consistently training apprentices and starting new classes!
- POSITIVELY HANDLING CONFLICT. Unresolved conflict is like too many chemicals, too much waste, or not enough oxygen in a fish tank. It will lead to the death of the class. People will leave. Relationships will suffer. Kingdom focus will be distracted. Don’t allow conflict to fester. Prayerfully lead parties in conflict to deal with it face to face, person to person. Follow the example laid out in Matthew 18. Get to the root. Focus on issues not personalities. Be redemptive. For more ideas, check out Avoiding Sunday School Class Dysfunctions, Is Your Sunday School Healthy?, Small Groups Learning from Each Other to Apologize, Part 2, Small Groups Learning from Each Other to Apologize, Part 1, Improve Your Small Group by Listening Better, Part 2, and Improve Your Small Group by Listening Better, Part 1. Grow your class through consistently and positively handling conflict!
- PRAYING TOGETHER. God has called us to serve Him. In order for us to do so, we must spend time with Him getting to know Him, His ways, and His will. We must follow His leadership. That means that growing classes, teachers, and leaders must spend time with Him in prayer. Pray for His will to be known and done. Pray for the sheep in your care. Pray for great lessons, great application, great fellowships, great projects, and great class actions toward growth. Pray for new sheep who are yet unreached. Pray for eyes to see the harvest and for more workers. But don’t just pray. Pray together. Pray in pairs. Pray in small groups. Pray as a class. Pray every time you get together. Pray away from class. There is power in prayer. And prayer unites. Grow your class through consistently praying together!
Evaluate your class. Which of these three actions is best done by your class and which needs strengthening? What can you do this week to take steps toward improving the area in need of strengthening? Who can help you with that key action? Review Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 to consider the twelve previous key actions. Train an apprentice. Start a class. Handle conflict. Pray together. Grow. Be revolutionary!