This post is eighth in a series expanding on twenty methods in response to How Can I Grow My Sunday School Class Numerically?. The eighth method listed there was this one:
Meet discovered needs of prospects.
Obedience to Jesus’ command to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20) demands concern for spiritual development of disciples as well as reaching new people, including people who are not like us. Sunday School is a great tool to help the church do both!
Want to grow your class? Reach new people. In order to do so, pray for, care for, and invite prospects. The focus of this post is the middle phrase: “care for.” It assumes you have begun a relationship with the individual. But there are times when needs are discovered before a relationship has begun. Meeting a discovered need may kick start that relationship and lead the person who is the focus of your care to be thankful, curious, and interested.
Response to a need will naturally be unique to the person, class, and situation. Individuals within the class (as Christians) should be sensitive to the needs of people around them. But some needs require assistance. For those moments, it is best to have a class ministry system in place which can spring the class into action when a need is discovered. This can be a prayer chain, care groups, an outreach leader, a ministry leader, or any other system. The system is not as important as the class’s readiness to respond at the time and point of need.
Gather your class together. Talk about some of the following scenarios. Then prayerfully decide how your class would best respond. Who should be in charge? Be sensitive to needs of those around you. Be ready to respond. How could you organize your class to be responsive to these situations?
- a family of five who are without food,
- a wife who has been abused and is in a shelter,
- children who are without winter coats,
- a needy family in a run down home,
- a family whose only car needs repairs or new tires,
- a single mother of two needing a job and child care,
- a single mother who faces three days in the hospital and a week of recovery at home who will be unable to care for her children,
- an elderly widow whose yard is a foot deep in leaves,
- a single dad of two school age children who needs transportation to and from a job,
- a family who are brand new to the community,
- a neighbor who fell and broke his leg and will be unable to mow his grass for six weeks,
- a young woman whose husband was just killed in a traffic accident,
- a family who cannot afford school supplies,
- a family about to lose their home,
- and more.
There are people in need all around our churches. God has made each of us stewards of resources for times like these. These are opportunities for us to reach out with the love of Christ. We can help prospects see us as the body of Christ. As we pray and care, they get to know us and know Jesus. They will be more open to an ongoing relationship with individuals, the class, the church, and Jesus. Pray. Organize to respond to discovered needs. Care. Invite. Be revolutionary!