It has been my privilege to serve as interim minister of education for the last six months at Parkland Baptist Church in Louisville. The church has been blessed to have Tom Curry as pastor for more than thirty years along with a great staff and group of teachers and leaders.
For the last four weeks, Parkland’s Sunday School has had a Connect4Him emphasis. The theme was:
Four weeks. Four contacts. Four goals. 4Him.
The four contacts with members and guests included: mail, phone, visit, and electronic contacts. In addition to prayer, the four goals emphasized what we wanted to practice, encourage, and measure:
- contacts (10 points each)
- guests in Sunday School (50 points each)
- new Sunday School members (100 points each)
- guests at a class fellowship (50 points each).
There were two teams (Red and Yellow–colors from the Connect 4 game). The teams were balanced and included preschool, children, youth, and adult classes. The goal for the month was to Connect for Him! We offered a reward to the winning team: free refreshments during a Connect4Him Talent Show on the next Sunday. The second place team would give donations for their refreshments for the Youth Summer Camp.
Each week, we asked class members to report their contacts on a simple report form:
Each week, we asked the class outreach leader or secretary to total the contacts and report them along with guests and new members on a class report form. The office calculated the points so there was no confusion.
At the end of the four weeks, here are the results for Him:
- 3,099 member contacts
- 1,416 prospect contacts
- 91 guests attended Sunday School
- 20 new Sunday School members
- 55 guests at class fellowships.
Wow! Our Lord was honored. Good Sunday School work was done. And classes had fun! By the way, attendance was up all four weeks too.
Who won? The Lord, the Sunday School, the church, and the community. In addition to Sunday School attendance being up, worship attendance was up, decisions were made in worship, and people were baptized!
What can you do to encourage good Sunday School practices? Remember that people tend to do what we expect, measure, and reward. Sometimes all we expect, measure, and reward is attendance. If we are going to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20), we must mobilize the army of the Sunday School to care and invite. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!
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