This post is seventh in a series expanding on twenty methods in response to How Can I Grow My Sunday School Class Numerically?. The seventh method listed there was this one:
Prayerwalk and target reaching out to a neighborhood.
Consider these questions:
- Why did God plant your church in your community?
- What does God want your church to do to impact your community?
- What can Sunday School do to help the church impact your community?
Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). He called disciples to expand His work (Mark 3:14-15). He commanded His disciples as they were going to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV). Jesus identified the two most important commandments as loving the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:29-31). Jesus’ broadened His definition of neighbor to those in need (Luke 10:29-37).
With that biblical background, what can Sunday School do to reach out to the community? The seventh method mentioned in How Can I Grow My Sunday School Class Numerically? mentions two responses: prayerwalking and targeting. Let’s discuss those methods and three others:
- PRAYERWALKING. What can you do to raise the vision and compassion of Sunday School attenders toward those in your community? Share testimonies of connections with neighbors. Introduce real community people and their needs. And lead attenders to prayerwalk a neighborhood. Prayerwalking raises attention of attenders toward area people and leads Sunday School members to connect with God’s desire for the neighborhood.
- TARGETING. It is difficult to reach everyone everywhere. But care, prayer, and effort can be focused on a neighborhood. Prayerfully decide on where to start. A class may focus on an area close to members of the class. A member may focus on his street. A Sunday School can focus on a reaching gap, an area from which no one has been reached. This targeted area may be the focus of attention for months or even years.
- PROSPECT LIST. Ask about unenrolled neighbors. Ask for names and contact information. Put together a prospect list. Seek to have at least as many names on the list as you have on your class roll. Ask every person who joins the class for the names of neighbors.
- PRAYING. Take out the prospect list and pray over the names of your neighbors. “Own” them. Take responsibility for them. Be persistent in seeking God’s help in reaching out to and caring for your neighbors. Look for opportunities to pray with your neighbors. Ask if they have prayer requests; then pray for them. Stay sensitive through prayer to God’s leadership in interacting with your neighbors.
- CONNECTING. Act loving toward your neighbors. Care for them. Do care for them. Pray for them. Help them. Be available during stressful moments in life. Get to know them. Listen to them. Be kind. Eat with your neighbors. Invite them to your class fellowships and projects. Have fun with them. Ask if you can add them to your class fellowship, ministry, and prayer list.
Which one of these methods for reaching out to your community, is where your Sunday School needs to start? Who should lead this effort? Do you have a testimony of an effort to reach out to your community? Press Comments below and share your story. Make disciples of all nations. Don’t forget your neighbors. Pray. Target. Care. Be revolutionary!