Tonight I received my weekly copy of Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox newsletter. I opened a link to an article entitled How to Create a Culture of Innovation in Your Church. After scanning through it, I noticed an article entitled 40 Ideas for Increasing the Number of Baptisms. (Both are worth checking out!)
Anyway, the list of ways to increase baptisms got me thinking about ways Sunday School can do so. Allow me to choose of a few from Rick’s list and task/customize them for the Sunday School (those with an asterisk are unchanged):
1. Mention the value, purpose and benefits of baptism regularly while teaching.
2. Videotape the baptisms of class members to share at future classes and fellowships.
5. Invite small group members to witness the baptism and identify them before each baptism.*
7. If the church does not offer a membership class, have a special Bible study session that explains the meaning of baptism in detail.
8. Always baptize on special days when relatives may be in town – Christmas, Mother’s Day, New Year’s Eve, etc. Invite the guests to Sunday School as well as worship.
9. Always baptize on special days of the church, like High Attendance Sunday for Sunday School.
10. Allow class members who have been instrumental in leading the baptismal candidate to Christ (after confirming that all are believers) to enter the pool together.
11. Make sure the class makes a special effort to hug him/her at the end of the service in which he/she has been baptized!
12. Interview all candidates in class the day they are to be baptized to hear their story of how Jesus changed them.
14. Have a photographer there to capture the moment to post on the class bulletin board, web page, or blog.
17. Have preprinted invitations for the baptism candidates to use in inviting lost friends and relatives to Sunday School and the worship service to witness the baptism.
19. After the baptism service encourage class members to go out afterwards for coffee or dessert to celebrate and find out what the experience meant to the person baptized and to the family and friends who watched it.
21. Have all small groups get people in their group to sign up in the group for the next baptism.*
26. Have a corporate prayer of celebration at the end of class to thank God for those who will be baptized.
29. Develop a “Baptism Party in a Box” kit that includes ideas for a family party sponsored by the Sunday School class following baptism.
33. Ask each small group in your church to take a week where each person shares their baptism experience and what it did for their Christian life.*
38. Have a special Christian’s baptism class as a requirement for baptizing children. Insist that at least one parent attend with their child–offer it during the Sunday School hour.
God has given us the tool of the Sunday School class/small group Bible study. Let’s use it for him to lead people to know Him, love Him, follow Him, and lead others to Him! Be revolutionary!