On average, a new class grows to 10-12 in attendance and 20-25 in enrollment in 12-18 months. And new classes will tend to attract more new people than existing classes. I have recently seen this in a Lexington church running 90 in Sunday School. They started 3 new classes, and six months later are already running regularly 120+. Let me share some best practices and a key next step:
- Avoid splitting classes. Even if a class is large, don’t split it. Splitting tends to be received negatively. Instead simply start another class.
- Launch a class with more than a teacher. Jesus sent His disciples out in pairs. Start a class with 2-5 people from one or more classes. A Louisville church did this, and the new class consistently runs 10-15 a year later. Starting with 2-5 adds relationships, ideas, and energy to reach new people. Remember, if you start a class with too many current members, you may not reach new people.
- Target a new class to address a gap or an affinity. Examine the church and community. Who is missing from Sunday School? Enlist the leadership team, determine the place, order the curriculum. Take a month to ask the church to pray, build relationships, and invite target people.
WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP?
Gather your teachers to pray and brainstorm about new classes. Spend half of the time praying. Then brainstorm about God’s preferred future for the Sunday School. Ask good questions. Seek their input. Help them to own the next steps. Questions might include: Who are new leaders who need to step up? Who are age groups and affinity groups that need to be reached? How could God use them to start new classes?
Remember these best practices as you add new classes. Avoid splitting. Enlist a team. Target a group. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!