I recently asked a pastor what had been done to result in doubling average Sunday School attendance in four years (from 40 to 80). His reply was to the point: “Growth. It’s really simple. God is blessing us.”
We should always be careful to give God the praise He deserves for sending workers, for sending the increase, and for growing His people. Our Lord is the reason the Bride exists. The Bride works to be ready for His return.
The pastor added the following to his comment about God’s blessing:
Obviously I think Sunday School should grow in ratio to worship attendance. Worship is growing because of door knocking, prayer, multiple evangelism attempts, Red Book, 3 Circles, and just doing things outside of the ‘normal box.’
We’ve had shotgun shoots, concealed weapons classes, local & far missions, KBC training events, SoulQuest, trips to the Ark, a pumpkin patch, relentlessly sending vans out to bring in kids, then families just to name a few. I’ll do or try whatever it takes to get people to just come hear the gospel. If they stay, then I’ll put them to work. If they don’t, I’ll offer to help them find another Bible believing, teaching, and preaching church.
Part of what he was saying is that Sunday School has grown from the overflow of worship increasing. As worship attendance increased, more got involved in Sunday School classes. They came to worship, found their way into relationships, and moved into classes.
OVERFLOW SPLASH. There are two common responses to overflow. The first is where actions are taken to increase worship and church participation but nothing is done to prepare Sunday School for growth. In this case the overflow adds nothing new to Sunday School. It simply splashes off the top and sides of Sunday School. When there is no increased capacity for holding more people in Sunday School (more care from new classes and additional leaders/teachers), it does not grow. And often, worship growth slows or stops as well.
OVERFLOW FILL. The second response to overflow is the Sunday School that enlists and trains new leaders and starts new classes. Increased care and invitations occur. Classes want and expect new people to come. Because care capacity is increased, more people attend and join Sunday School classes. And frequently as Sunday School attendance increases, worship continues to increase as well.
The pastor of this church said they annually bring leaders to Super Saturday for training and went on to say:
We have started new classes continually since 2013…. With new classes has come new teachers, either new to the church or those who were there but are now stepping out in their faith to teach.
Training, new leaders, and new classes matter for capitalizing upon God’s blessing. Will the overflow splash or fill your Sunday School? Are you ready? Is your Sunday School ready? Pray. Plan. Prepare. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!