In Part 1, I mentioned that today everyone is busy. They are running from one commitment to the next and tend to be overcommitted. And one complication in growing a Sunday School class is that is it spelled W-O-R-K which takes time.
In the face of such busyness, what can we do to grow the class (spiritually and numerically) that God has entrusted to us? How can we work smarter (and even harder when required) and ensure that we will be more likely to realize results (growth)? In Part 1 of this six-part series, I shared 37 class growth actions. In Part 2, I will share the first eight of those 37 actions along with a some brief comments about each one:
- TRUST GOD AND JOIN HIM WHERE HE IS AT WORK.Spiritual and numerical class growth starts here. Seek God’s leadership. Seek God’s blessing. Look around the class and beyond. See where He is at work in lives. Join in His work. Frequently we make plans and ask God to bless them. Instead, start with Him and seek His plans.
- PERSONALLY SPEND TIME PRAYING FOR THE CLASS AND THOSE THEY HAVE REACHED AND WILL REACH. A class is not a class without people. Pray for those in your care. Pray for them by name. Pray for their spiritual growth. Ask God to bless and use them. Ask God how you can lead attenders to reach out to others He wants in the class.
- TEACH YOUR CLASS TO PRAY FOR THOSE THEY HAVE REACHED AND WILL REACH. Notice, this began with the word, “teach.” Set an example. Apply God’s truth in your lessons. Allow time in class and at other times for attenders to spend time praying for people not in the class. Ask for names of people not in the class for whom to pray. Check out Don’t Just ASK Your Sunday School Class to Pray, TEACH Them to DO It, Part 1 and Is Your Class a Praying Class?.
- PREPARE FOR GREAT LESSONS EVERY WEEK. Give God and the sheep in your care your best effort. Prayerfully prepare well. Start early. Read the scripture at least by Sunday afternoon. Allow God to illustrate His truth during the week. Make assignments. Seek a personal encounter with God in your preparation. Plan to use a variety of teaching methods. Check out Sunday School: Preparation Is More Fun When It Is Shared, Focus Your Sunday School Lesson Preparation to Make the Most Difference!, and Prayerful, Purposeful Preparation for Revolutionary Sunday School.
- LEAD ATTENDERS TO MEET GOD IN BIBLE STUDY. This begins with your personal encounter with Him in preparation. Then you are able to be a guide who has scouted out the land. Lead them to meet Him by getting them in His Word. Become a facilitator who is able to allow God and His Word to speak more loudly than yourself. Check out Leading Attenders to Meet God in Bible Study, Part 1 and Sunday School: Lead Them to Encounter God in Bible Study.
- SPEND TIME GETTING TO KNOW CLASS ATTENDERS.This happens before, during, and between classes. This happens at church, in homes, and in the community. This knowledge helps your prayer for them, and it helps you preparation to meet their specific needs. It also deepens understanding and trust.
- SEEK PARTICIPATION IN EVERY LESSON. Avoid a solo performance. Get everyone involved. If there are more than six in the class, divide the class into groups and give them Bible study assignments. Use teaching methods that address preferred learning styles of participants. Lead them to apply and practice the truth. Check out Could Too Much Participation Be an Obstacle for Revolutionary Adult Classes? and Keys to Increasing Verbal Participation in Sunday School.
- ASK GOOD QUESTIONS. These demand more than yes/no or one-word or phrase responses. Ask questions that make them think. Allow enough time for them to do so.
For the other parts of this series, check here:
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 1
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 3
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 4
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 5
- Sunday School Class Growth Is Spelled W-O-R-K, Part 6
What a list! In Parts 3-6, I will add a little explanation about 29 more class growth actions. Print out this list and highlight the one(s) you believe would most help your class. If more than one, which is the most important or the one that should happen first? Plan steps to carry out this priority action. Lead your class to grow. Be revolutionary.