Growth Standards provide vision and motivation. Over the years, there have been several awards, growth standards, and challenges for Sunday School growth. Andy Anderson of the Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay Christian Resources) championed the Growth Spiral and Eagle Awards. In addition to the Growth Spiral, the Sunday School Standard and others challenged leaders to set and pursue goals to grow.
I want to challenge you to pray for and pursue these annual Growth Standards for your Sunday School:
Annual Growth Standards
- net 10% increase in Sunday School enrollment (add new members to replace lost members plus add 10% more than the end of last year)
- 10% increase in Sunday School attendance
- net 10% increase in Sunday School classes (add new classes to replace lost classes plus add 10% more than the end of last year)
- net 10% increase in Sunday School workers (add new teachers and workers to replace lost teachers and workers plus add 10% more than the end of last year); include pastor, Sunday School director, teachers, secretaries, outreach leaders, member care leaders, class greeters, apprentice teachers, and others
- increase contacts with absentees and prospects to equal weekly average Sunday School attendance (care is essential to growth)
- training at least 75% of Sunday School teachers and workers
These Growth Standards will seldom happen accidentally. They require prayer, leadership, communication, ownership, and work. But if leaders are trained and prayer and planning together takes place, reaching these goals is possible for every Sunday School.
Allow me to share an illustration for a Sunday School with an enrollment of 100 (for easy math):
|Goal Area||Last Yr||Goal||Losses||Net Goal|
The Sunday School last year had 100 enrolled with 50 in average attendance. They had 10 classes and 15 teachers and workers. They did not report any contacts and did not offer training. Their goals were to end the new year with 110 enrolled, 55 in average attendance, 11 classes, 22 workers, 55 contacts per week, and 17 workers trained.
Notice the Net Goal column. Because of losses through the year, enrollment would need to increase by 15 (replace the loss of 5 and add the goal of 10). Attendance would need to increase by 8 (replace the loss of 3 and add the goal of 5). Classes would need to increase by 2 (replace the loss of 1 and add the goal of 1). Since there were no contacts or training reported last year, the net goal is the same.
These may not be God-sized goals for your Sunday School. I encourage you to gather your leaders and pray together about the goals God wants you to pursue. But I want to challenge you to consider goals for these six essential Sunday School Growth Standards. Keep in mind that contacts are simply evidence of care being provided for members, absentees, and prospects. If care is absent, growth will be impossible.
Set goals and measure what matters as you carry out your mission to make disciples of all nations. Be revolutionary!