In my previous post, Why Is My Sunday School Stuck?, I mentioned that an annual Sunday School retreat can help evaluate the current reality in your Sunday School and help you develop a plan to start moving and growing again. For more information about s Sunday School retreat, check out Giving Sunday School Direction Through a Planning Retreatand Sunday School Retreating to Move Forward. After talking about the retreat, I listed organizational and attitudinal reasons for Sunday School being stuck. Sometimes we address organizational reasons while ignoring attitudinal ones, and we remain stuck.
In this post, I want to address both the organization and attitudes needed to create movement and growth. Here are some key actions to get unstuck:
- PRAY. Getting unstuck is a God-sized task. Prayer is not an add-on; it is a necessity. Set aside time to pray for Sunday School, leaders, and God’s help and direction. Invite others to join you in praying.
- RESOLVE CONFLICT. Conflict is a stumbling block for growth and progress. It is an anchor making forward momentum difficult or impossible. Seek out those with whom you have conflict. Ask for forgiveness–even if you are not sure how you are at fault. If others are involved, steer them toward reconciliation. Think Matthew 18.
- CREATE OWNERSHIP. Invite input into evaluation, identifying needs, setting goals, and making plans. If you do not do so, then they won’t own the need, work, or results.
- SET GOALS. Do this together after prayer. Set God-sized goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable (with God’s help), realistic, and timely.
- MAKE CONTACTS. Unstuck often is connected to growth. Growth can only happen with new people. In order to reach new people, we have to care, contact, and invite. Outreach leaders, prospect lists, prayer, and care are keys for contacts resulting in attendance and enrollment.
- ENROLL NEW PEOPLE. When we enroll people, they give us the responsibility to pray for, minister to, and fellowship with them. When we enroll PLUS care, people attend.
- ENLIST MORE LEADERS. Sunday School’s span of care is limited by the amount of leaders we have. More leaders can care for more people. Fewer leaders can only care for fewer people. Add outreach leaders, member care leaders, greeters, and new leaders for new classes–and watch those additional leaders care for more people while your Sunday School gets unstuck and grows!
- START MORE CLASSES. In an average Sunday School, one class attracts and cares for 10 attenders and 20 enrolled–unless there is a leader shortage. So adding more classes means we can attract and care for more people. Add more leaders AND more classes.
- TRAIN EVERY LEADER. Training raises vision, expectations, and improvement. Sunday Schools that train their leaders annually are more likely to grow.
- ADD MORE SPACE. Lack of space at any place (including restrooms, parking, and worship) or age group (preschool, children, youth, or adult) in your Sunday School will tend to slow or stop growth and progress. Clean out junk rooms, use your space twice, renovate, or build more space. Plan ahead.
What would you add to this list of key actions? Press Comments and add your suggestions. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!