On average a Sunday School class will grow to 10 in attendance and 20 in enrollment in 12-18 months. But then most classes lose the initial excitement of newness. Attendance increases slow or stop. Relationships frequently turn inward. Invitations are extended less often. Fewer guests attend, or if they attend then they don’t return. Baptisms become rare–partly because fewer unchurched persons are invited. Fewer new leaders are discovered, trained, and mobilized.
Imagine with me then if a church started one new class every year for ten years. They could be on their way toward 100 in attendance and 200 in enrollment. Those surely are worthy goals. With prayer, planning, training of new leaders, and encouragement of existing teachers and classes, such a goal could become a reality.
But what if I could tell you how one class, by itself with God’s help, could reach hundreds? Would you be interested? What would you be willing to do to bring it about? Would you pray and be faithful to follow God’s leadership?
Let me paint a second scenario. It is a little more complicated to explain, but not much more. You and your class realize the need to reach people. You realize you cannot do it as effectively by yourselves. You know new classes grow faster. You determine that you want to start a new class at least every two years. So at the end of a year, your class (which has already been around for a year) trains an apprentice teacher and launches another class. The apprentice has been trained to lead his/her class to do the same within two years. So at the end of year three both classes have grown, trained new apprentices, and launched new classes.
Now all four teachers have seen the value of multiplication and work to do the same at the end of two years. So at the end of year five, those four classes have grown, trained apprentices, and launched new classes. At the end of seven years, those eight classes have multiplied to sixteen, and at the end of nine years, those sixteen classes have multiplied to thirty-two. In less than ten years, your one class has become thirty-two classes, with about 320 in attendance and 640 in enrollment.
Can you imagine how many of those would have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord. Can you imagine the number of teachers and workers those classes would mobilize in service? Can you imagine the number of guests that would have been invited? Can you imagine the number of invitations that would have been extended.
This all happens because a class never arrives at contentment. They always realize they have a job ahead–to start another class. They keep working until they launch one. Then they pause to celebrate before they begin working to launch another one. Classes without this as a goal often rest on their laurels and stop growing and reaching out. Pray about the kind of class God wants you to be. I believe God is calling for revolutionary teachers and classes. Be revolutionary!