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 the series of blog posts beginning with The Accumulation of Sunday School Neglect, Part 1.
Though not finished with my thinking yet, I am sharing initial thoughts. While there are specific responses to each of the areas of neglect mentioned above, some overall steps are required for making change, for moving from neglected to revolutionary Sunday School. 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 shared the next three steps: evaluation, motivation, and commitment. In Part 3, I will share the final three steps:
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:
OWNERSHIP. For change to occur, there has to be ownership of the change. People have to ‘buy-in” to the change. They have to believe it and be willing to do something about it. Ownership is about moving from verbal commitment to individual decision. Some make a verbal commitment and then get cold feet. Others are able to talk them out of their commitment. Ownership is making a decision to move forward despite challenges, discouragers, and even personal concerns. It is making a group decision “mine.” It is claiming my part of the change.
ACTION. This is obvious. Change that never reaches this step is just an idea. Without action, there is no change. It has to be started and carried out. It has to be brought to a conclusion–even with adjustments along the way. The move from neglected to revolutionary Sunday School takes work. It takes patience, effort, time, involvement, flexibility, communication, tweaking, clean up, and celebration. It requires action.
REPEAT. One change is never the end. More change is needed. When one change has been accomplished, it is time to pray, get attention, and evaluate again. It is time to build on progress. If you stop pursuing change, even briefly, it will make future pursuit of change more difficult. Keep the needed move from neglected to revolutionary going. Remember that it is easier to move an object in motion. Take a breather at the end, but don’t rest too long!
How do you fare on these three steps? What about the previous six (see Part 1 and Part 2)? Which is your stre ngth? 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!