I believe Sunday School has been allowed to die in many of our churches due to lack of prayer, expectations, and leadership. What if that changed? What if we prayed, expected God to bless, and led our groups toward great, life and world-impacting Sunday School.
A few years ago, David Francis (retired Director of Sunday School for Lifeway Christian Resources) wrote a great book entitled Great Expectations: Planting Seeds for Sunday School Growth (free PDF download). The book is filled with practical opportunities for expecting positive results. I want to encourage you to read it.
What Are Your Expectations?
Will you allow me to ask you about your expectations for Sunday School? Before I do, write down some of your mental pictures of what it would look like if God was blessing and using your Sunday School. Consider some of these pictures:
- new people are invited every week
- friendly greeters are early, enjoy their job, and follow up with guests
- a welcoming class with guests who return
- members show up early to enjoy conversation with each other
- members read the lesson and add insight to group time
- attenders willing to help in any official or unofficial way needed
- members listen to God in Bible study, apply the truth to their lives, and obey Him
- members are growing as disciples and leaders
- regular fellowships, projects, and meals planned with absentees and prospects present
- members, absentees, and prospects receive regular caring contacts
- the ministry of Sunday School impacts the community and world
- the list could go on and on.
What Can You Do?
Now, here is the question: Why are these pictures not reality? I encourage you to focus on what you can do to move your class toward these pictures (one at a time). In other words, choose a picture and turn it into an expectation for your class. Pray and practice the title of Chapter 2 in Great Expectations: Expect people to say yes.
When you begin to practice expectations, things will begin to change–first with you! Pray. Expect. Lead. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!