There are so many ways care groups can help the Sunday School teacher carry out the work of Sunday School. I would suggest that Sunday School care groups be made up of 3-4 faithful attenders plus absentees. Consider the following possible assignments (and benefits) at various times during the group’s gathering:
Pre-moments (15 minutes)
- Welcome care group members and guests (relationships and first impressions)
- Introduce guests to care group members (relationships and first impressions)
- Ask guests to complete a guest registration form (follow up)
- Ask care group members and guests to wear name tags (relationships and first impressions)
Early Moments (10-15 minutes)
- Review application: How did you do on living out the truth of last week’s lesson?
- Recognize(?) absent care group members (care and follow up)
- Assign contacts to absent care group members (care, prayer, connection, and retention)
- Listen to reports of contacts with absent members (care, prayer, addressing needs, and accountability) as well as reports of contacts with prospects (people in the community)
- Make assignments to contact prospects (relationships, care, outreach, and invitation)
- Ask for prayer requests (care and prayer)
- Pray for care group members, including absentees (care and prayer)
Middle Moments (10-15 minutes)
Look for opportunities to use Sunday School care groups as part of the teaching plan:
- Capture attention: discuss a question, story, headline, etc. that brings focus to the topic for the day (get minds in the room and on the lesson)
- Icebreaker (get the care group talking early so they will be more likely to contribute later)
- Examination: lead the group to use their Bibles to discover facts and the truth of the passage (get everyone talking, teach them to use their Bibles)
Closing Moments (5-10 minutes)
- Review the lesson: What was the scripture passage about? What was the point of the passage?
- Application: How does the point of the passage apply to life today? What does God want you to do about it? Will you do what God expects?
- Share any assignments about next week’s lesson.
Post Moments (5 minutes)
- Gather care group leaders.
- Determine who will follow up with guests during the next 72 hours.
Variation for Care Groups in Coed Groups
- Assign Sunday School care groups (when attendance allows it) by gender. Each care groups would be male or female.
- In addition to the above list of possible assignments, add relationship-building and affinity-discovery activities and discussions.
- As relationships continue and trust builds, the truth will shine light on struggles and sin that need to be addressed, discussed, and even confessed. At times, this will only happen in single-gender groups.
Since males tend to have fewer friends, this will have a positive impact on retention of males in Sunday School and church.
Reflection on Assignments and Benefits
If you don’t have leaders for your care groups, don’t hesitate to try them. What you will find is that leaders naturally rise in groups that continue to gather.
When you assign people to care groups, try to spread the most responsive and talkative faithful members into all the groups. What if after two months, your class had more leaders, attendance, and participation along with more caring relationships and guests? Don’t you think the benefits might be worth trying?
Keep in mind, I am not suggesting asking care groups to do everything on the list above every week. As I mentioned, these are simply possible assignments. Every teacher needs help. Organize care groups to come alongside of you. Raise up leaders. Care for your members. Reach out to prospects. Help with teaching and learning. Watch as your class grows as disciples and in numbers. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!