An hourglass has enough sand for gravity to pull from the upper glass bulb through the neck into the lower glass bulb in 60 minutes. Imagine that you wanted to measure not one hour but two hours. What would you do? Well, of course, you would simply turn the hourglass upside down at the end of the first hour. To do so means that you must pay attention to the hourglass as the “sands of time” get low.
A similar action is needed in many Sunday Schools. Sunday School attendance is dropping. We must pay attention to that drop and address it before the “sands of attendance” run out. That means that we must pay attention to what is happening to Sunday School attendance as a whole, in each age group, and in each class.
EVALUATION. Evaluation should take place regularly. If there is little change from month to month, then checking quarterly and annually may suffice. Examine the sand that is leaking: people that are leaving or missing. Why are they not coming? If you can narrow the neck of sand lost, you will not decline as rapidly. Notice (and act in care) when people miss and drop out. While some losses are unavoidable and permanent (such as death and moves out of state), many others (sickness, grief, etc.) will return if we reach out in care.
ADDITION. Another way to ensure the hourglass has enough sand for the next hour is to add more sand to the upper bulb. If sand is not added, it will continue to leak out until empty. To add more “sand of attendance” to Sunday School, there are many things we can do. Here are a few of those:
- invite worship attenders to Sunday School,
- invite friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors to attend Sunday School with us,
- enroll new members,
- share Sunday School testimonies,
- add more workers to help classes reach out,
- invite guests to class fellowships,
- start more classes.
ACTION. Many Sunday Schools and classes do nothing to slow the loss of sand (attendance) or to add more sand. As a result, sand is nearly empty. The time is now for an hourglass check. You can do something. God entrusted the care of the sand (those already in class and those who are not yet) to you. Care enough for Him and them to care for those in the class and invite those who are not. Prayer, honesty, strategy, and action are needed. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!