Many Sunday School plans fail because no priorities have been set. Leaders rush from fire to fire. They deal only with only the unavoidable pressing issues demanding their time. Establishing priorities is an essential step in planning for revolutionary Sunday School. Failing to do so is to doom your Sunday School to ineffectiveness.
Where does determining priorities fit into Sunday School planning? It is an essential fourth step. Determining priorities follows (1) seeking God and His leadership, (2) evaluating progress on Sunday School goals and current reality, and (3) identifying needs and vision. At that point in the planning process, determining priorities acknowledges that everything cannot be done at once, some things should be done first, and not everything should be done at all. These are hard lessons for many Sunday School leaders.
How can we determine the best place to begin? What are some helpful considerations for wisely choosing Sunday School priorities? Consider the following:
- Where is God at work? What has He been doing among your Sunday School leaders and members? Where is He leading? (vision priority)
- What gifts and abilities has God given to the members of your Sunday School? Where are the passions (hot buttons) for your attenders? (people priority)
- What must be done first in order to make other goals possible to pursue or to accomplish more easily? What can we least afford to wait to accomplish? (time priority)
- What must be done before the calendar makes its pursuit more difficult? (calendar priority)
- What should be done first in order to ensure a quick success that will encourage ongoing goal pursuit? (success priority)
- What must be completed first in order to ensure support on subsequent goals? (support priority)
- What should be accomplished first in order to relieve the most stress and strain? Where is the current most pressing need? What will be the most pressing need in the months ahead? (pressure priority)
- What is the absolute most important thing that could be pursued if nothing else was accomplished? (importance priority)
- What can we afford to accomplish first? (financial priority)
Sunday School leaders fail when they attempt to accomplish everything at the same time. They fail when they stop to plan. They fail when they don’t choose where to start. They fail when they forget to count the consequences. Setting priorities is worth the time that it takes. It prevents many restarts. It ensures greater likelihood of success. Get started now. Be revolutionary!
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