God has called you and placed you in an important position of leadership within your church. Paul reminds us that Jesus “gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12, ESV). Your job as teacher is not maintenance but growth (building up the body of Christ). Your job as teacher is leading the class to care for one another, grow more like Him, and reach out to include lost and unconnected sheep.
If you don’t lead, the class won’t grow–spiritually, numerically, or missionally. Prayerfully develop a plan for the growth of the class. Gather a class planning team. Pray together. Evaluate together. Dream together. Identify needs, determine priorities, set goals, and make plans together. Communicate goals and plans. Seek to involve everyone. Work together. Assess and adjust as needed.
A portion of your leadership efforts must naturally be focused on reaching out to lost and unenrolled people. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. His agenda will be reflected in ours as well. As we spend time with Him, we will become like Him and will follow where He leads. He said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19, ESV).
Allow me to suggest a plan for moving your class to take steps toward reaching lost people. The months listed below are simply examples:
- April: You ask those in attendance to share the names of FRANs (friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors) who are the people group for the class but who are lost or not enrolled in Sunday School. You write all the names on a poster board in the front of the class. You ask the group what God wants the group to do about the list. You challenge the group to pray for salvation and class connection of the people on this list daily. You type up the list and print it out or email it to your group. The poster stays in front of the group. You remind them weekly when the group gathers to be praying for the names on the list, especially the ones they added.
- May: You ask the group for contact information (address, phone, email) for the people on the list. The group keeps praying. You challenge the class to take the next step to show God’s love through sending a postcard and making a phone call to every person on the list. You invite the people on the poster to come to a class fellowship or project. You share about an upcoming lesson. You ask for prayer requests. You pray together.
- June: You plan a class fellowship or project. The group keeps praying. The group sends out electronic invitations for the class fellowship or project to everyone on the poster. You send the group out in pairs to make visits with people on the list at the front door the week of the fellowship or project. During the visit, tell the people you are visiting that you claim them as friends because of someone they know in the class. Invite them to the fellowship or project. Ask if they would like you to pick them up. Ask for prayer requests. Pray together. Thank them. Conduct the fellowship or project, and make sure you connect well with all the guests. Before the fellowship is over, invite everyone to be in class on Sunday.
- July: Follow up with everyone who came to the fellowship or project and those who came to class. Invite them to a meal (home or restaurant). Ask if they have any questions. Start the process all over again with those who did not respond the first time through.
Be a leader. Prayerfully develop a plan to move your class to grow. Reaching out is an important part of that plan which deserves your leadership. Pray. Connect. Invite. Care. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!