In my previous posts, Sunday School Growth = Enroll Plus Care Part 1 and Part 2, I emphasized the importance of adding people to our class party, prayer, and care lists (class rolls) and then caring for those on our lists. These are both key actions for Sunday School growth. Neglecting either one will likely produce no growth.
In this two part series, each of these key actions will likely result in growth, but the greatest growth result will tend to result from carrying out both adding new leaders AND adding new groups. In Part 1, I will focus on the why and how of adding new leaders.
WHY ARE NEW LEADERS NEEDED? The main two reasons are that
- Lose them: current leaders will eventually step down and
- Need more: more leaders are needed to increase care.
Many Sunday Schools are ill prepared to replace leaders when they need a break, become ill, die, move, or leave the church. In response classes frequently are combined or dropped. As a result, fewer leaders attempt poorly to care for more people. Classes need at least one leader for every five members (not just attenders). Any worse ratio typically results in poor care and decreasing attendance.
In addition, the existing set of Sunday School leaders are designed to achieve current results and not much more. If we (and the Lord) want to grow our Sunday School (make disciples of all nations), we need more leaders–not the same or fewer. More care requires more leaders. More leaders can care for more people. More care typically results in more attendance.
HOW CAN WE ADD NEW LEADERS? There are two main ways;
- Apprenticing: personal enlistment and apprenticing over 6-12 months by an existing leader and
- Training session(s): enlistment, training, and coaching of new leaders.
Both of these should be preceded by prayer that God will send workers for the harvest. Then the leader should look for the worker(s) God has or will send. Keep in mind that potential leaders who are not put to good use will tend to have their interest rot like a banana left on the counter too long.
Count your current leaders. Make it a goal to have more leaders this time next year so you can enlarge your care capacity. Enlist well. Apprentice and train them. Encourage and coach them. Keep an eye out for Part 2 of this series focused on new groups. Watch your Sunday School grow. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!