I started as Minister of Education and Youth at First Baptist Church, Pendleton, South Carolina, after graduating from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in May 1985. At that point, I had no realization of the impact of my early reading, conferences, and church newsletter writing. I became the editor of the church newsletter, and when the secretary was out I was also the typist, graphic artist, and formatter.
On top of that, I was responsible for writing weekly articles for the newsletter. Wearing two hats sometimes made it difficult to cover it all: youth and education. There were youth fellowships, retreats, camps, graduate recognitions, and more. There were Sunday School launch plans, promotions, training events, high attendance Sundays, and more. The library, WMU, Brotherhood (now Baptist Men), Discipleship Training, and more needed attention and support.
Some weeks I could feature some areas on the front page of the newsletter which in turn freed up space in my “column.” Other weeks, pressing events would even crowd out the need for my column. This would occasionally bring a sense of relief from a responsibility, but often those pressing weeks were also weeks when my column was needed most. Often I was amazed at what I had written when I read it later, often remarking to myself, “Where did that come from?”
Anyway, over the years, I wrote hundreds of articles and columns for church newsletters. And after being called to serve the Lord through the Kentucky Baptist Convention in 1997, I quickly missed the opportunity to write. More than once I considered offering to write monthly features for the Western Recorder, our state Baptist paper, about my passion, Sunday School. But like most of us, busyness usually fills all the allotted time plus some.
Then at the end of January 2006, the convention staff was trained to blog. I immediately saw the potential, but could not figure out where I would find the time. Finally in March I decided to give it a whirl. I wrote a couple of posts and then reposted them in April when I made a firmer commitment to launch my blog, The Sunday School Revolutionary.
At first I wrote around one blog entry per week or as an idea struck me. By July 2006, I had so few comments that I was discouraged and wondered if all the effort to write was really worth it. Was anyone reading it? Then our Information Technology department turned on the blog counter. For the remaining 13 days of July, there were 353 page hits (or views). People were actually reading my writing; they just were not commenting very often. I was hooked.
By the following summer (2007), I had increased my writing frequency to 3-4 times per week, and hits had been increasing. And for some reason, I decided to try an experiment. I decided to see what might happen if I began to write a blog post nearly every day. So in July 2007, I added 27 posts, and in August I added 31! And my page hits immediately doubled each month.
Today, three years later after launching The Sunday School Revolutionary, I am adding about 20-25 posts per month. To date, more than 700 blog posts have been written. Monthly page hits continue to set new records. The counter recently surpassed a total of 115,000 page hits since it was turned on. Page hits in 2009 (with less than three and a half months) already exceed 21,000. The Sunday School Revolutionary has been read in 140 countries and on every continent except for Antarctica.
The writing has enabled me to make Sunday School and small group help available to people all over the world and at a time and place that is convenient to them. Pastors, Sunday School directors, ministers of education, and teachers tell me how they enjoy and how they use my posts. I occasionally even get calls and e-mails from readers from beyond Kentucky.
Let me close with encouragement for readers to move beyond reading about revolutionary Sunday School. Let me challenge you to follow God’s lead. Step out boldly and DO revolutionary Sunday School. Touch and change lives. Touch and change your church. Touch and change your community. Be revolutionary!
For some of the most read blog posts, check out the following (and total hits for each post):
- Top Ten Actions to Increase Sunday School Attendance (1,330)
- Free Training Materials for Sunday School Teachers (1,059)
- Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Month: Is It May or October? (885)
- Plan Your Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day (789)
- Invitation to Sunday School (644)
- Benefits of High Attendance Sunday (577)
- Revolutionary Sunday School Invitations (Postcards) (554)
- Using Icebreakers Purposefully in Sunday School/Small Groups (491)
- Sunday School Growth Spiral (483)
- Teaching Sunday School Members to Pray Through Scripture (459)