In Part 1, I mentioned that I have been thinking about all the Sunday Schools that need to move from a neglected state of Sunday School toward a more revolutionary state. What does it take to move a teacher from neglected to revolutionary work? What does it take for a Sunday School director or pastor to move Sunday School from neglected to revolutionary? For a picture of what a neglected state of Sunday School looks like, check out these blog posts:
- The Accumulation of Sunday School Neglect, Part 1, Sunday School’s Neglect of Abiding in Him, Part 2, Sunday School’s Neglect of WHY and FOR WHOM, Part 3, Sunday School’s Neglect of Leadership, Part 4, Sunday School’s Neglect of Organizing for Care and Growth, Part 5, Sunday School’s Neglect of Planning, Part 6, Sunday School’s Neglect of Care for the Lost, Part 7, Sunday School’s Neglect of Care for One Another, Part 8, Sunday School’s Neglect of the First Encounter, Part 9A, Sunday School’s Neglect of the First Encounter, Part 9B, Sunday School’s Neglect of the Second Encounter, Part 10A, and Sunday School’s Neglect of the Second Encounter, Part 10B
In Part 1 of this series, I shared the first three of nine steps toward Sunday School change that I have identified: prayer, attention, and evaluation. In Part 2, I will share the next three steps. Help me think about this issue further. Leave comments after you read each part of the series.
Don’t forget that I mentioned in Part 1 that each of the steps require leadership. So leadership is an assumed tenth step. Consider the following steps in your Sunday School:
- EVALUATION. Until leaders and members have an honest picture of current reality both in the church and community, little can be done to move Sunday School from neglected to revolutionary. This often requires someone helping them to look at history; goal progress; community demographic s; effectiveness of practices, organization, and leaders; potential and needs; priorities; and more. An annual planning retreat followed by monthly check-up times can be helpful in moving from neglected current reality to revolutionary potential future.
- MOTIVATION. It is essential in moving from neglected to revolutionary Sunday School, to bring attention to areas of needed change (see Part 1), but change also requires motivation to pursue the work needed to accomplish it. This addresses the “why” of change. Effective Sunday School change leaders help the organization to understand why the change is needed, how it will help to accomplish the work God has given, and how exciting the future will be. Since motivation is internally generated, leaders must tap into those internal cranks/interests/passions. Asking questions can be an effective method for discovering and addressing motivations.
- COMMITMENT. In order to move toward revolutionary Sunday School, recognition of needed next steps must occur. But that recognition is not enough to bring about change. It also takes commitment from key leaders who are willing to lead and work to bring about the change. This is key to bringing about forward momentum. There will often be early adopters who are willing to try new things immediately, but not all key leaders are naturally early adopters. Conversation with these key leaders is essential to lead them freely to make a commitment to take the next steps needed or change will be stymied.
In Part 3, I will share the final three steps: ownership, action, and repeat. How do you fare on these three steps? Which is your strength? your weakness? What would you add or change to these early steps? Let’s get a conversation going that strengthens Sunday School. Let’s move from neglected to revolutionary Sunday School. Let’s give God our best efforts. Let’s make a difference for Him. Be revolutionary!