Due to the pandemic, we are in a time of life where we must be flexible. We have had to adjust at work, school, and in the marketplace. Some of work, school, and purchasing had to be done at home. People are wearing masks, washing hands, and keeping socially distant. And that same flexibility has been required at church.
Churches closed and reopened. Some closed again briefly due to cases of COVID-19 among members or staff. Sunday School and small groups temporarily cancelled. Online services and groups launched. Without face-to-face communication, calls and electronic contact grew in usage. Teams and committees met less frequently and moved to Zoom or to a large space where distance was possible. And this is but a tip of the iceberg of change experienced by churches.
The best time to form glass is when it is hot and flexible. In a similar way, now is the time to lead Sunday School to be even more revolutionary. Circumstances forced flexibility. Consider the following ideas of how to stretch Sunday School to have an even bigger impact.
Revolutionary Ideas While Flexible
- Planning. Start monthly or quarterly meetings for updates and planning. Suggestion: provide them in person and online.
- Training. Identify specific needs in each age group (preschool, children, students, and adults). Address a small number in short training sessions. Suggestion: provide them in person and online.
- New Teachers: With the loss of some due to COVID, new teachers will need regular encouragement and coaching. Suggestion: schedule weekly phone calls or online video meetings during the first quarter.
- New Groups: Attract new people even during the pandemic. Suggestion: launch new socially distant (1) in-person classes, (2) online groups, and (3) home groups now.
- Caring Contacts: Ask members to help make caring contacts with prospects. Suggestion: provide members with a list of the group’s members. Assign contacts with absentees every week. Call for reports.
- Outreach: invite prospects to come to class in person or online. Suggestion: print cards with class name, church, and address to share with prospects. Send online class link out to prospects (but not on social media).
- Party: gather your group online or socially distant in person. Suggestion: avoid potlucks unless someone serves everyone safely. Sing. Tell scripture or personal stories. Play games. Have fun. Keep it short.
- Project: plan and carry out a project to help someone in need (member, prospect, or group). Suggestion: consider a children’s home, a missionary, or group of essential workers. Make it an ongoing relationship.
The list above is only for starters. Do you have additional suggestions? Share them. Move in bold ways to grow your Sunday School. Don’t stop planning, training, enlisting, inviting, caring, and reaching. Start new groups. Take advantage of this time to be flexible and revolutionary in your plans. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!