Yesterday, I wrote the negative. Yesterday, I wrote, “Do We Make It Difficult to Join or Even Attend Sunday School?” In far too many Sunday Schools, we make it more difficult to attend Sunday School than it has to be. In far too many Sunday Schools, we make joining a class so mysterious that few can successfully navigate the challenge.
What can we do? What can we do to change a difficult experience into an easy one? What can we do to make it easy to attend and join Sunday School? In this three-part series, I will focus on responding to the questions I asked in yesterday’s post. In Part 1and Part 2, I will respond to questions about attending Sunday School, and in Part 3, I will respond to questions about joining Sunday School.
Here are the questions I asked yesterday about difficulty attending the Sunday School followed by suggestions for how to make it easy to do so:
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE SITTING IN OUR PEWS BECAUSE WE HAVE NEVER INVITED THEM? Today, more guests attend our worship services first. They feel more anonymous and “safe.” However, many people continue to attend worship or even join and never receive a personal invitation (or even one from the pulpit) to Sunday School. We don’t want to be pushy, but we do want to care. We should notice them in worship. We should be interested. Most people like to be invited–even if they say no. Get copies of worship guest registration and invite guests to Sunday School. When a person joins the church, invite them to class. Stop saying, “no,” for them. Invite them.
HOW MANY OF OUR FRIENDS, RELATIVES, ASSOCIATES, AND NEIGHBORS ARE SITTING AT HOME BECAUSE WE HAVE NEVER INVITED THEM? The same principle applies to those who have never attended our church. Get to know those around you. Care about them. Care for them. Invite them to your home. Invite them to a restaurant. Get to know them. Invite them to a class party. Invite them to worship. Invite them to class. Again, people like to be invited. Send them formal invitations. Send them cards/letters. Invite them in person. Invite them by e-mail or phone. But do it!
HOW MANY NEVER COME BECAUSE THERE WERE NO GREETERS TO HELP THEM FIND OUT WHAT CLASS TO ATTEND? HOW MANY NEVER COME BECAUSE THEY ARRIVED AFTER SUNDAY SCHOOL STARTED AND ALL THE GREETERS HAD GONE TO CLASS? Ouch! This is doubly painful because guests were ready to attend. They showed up planning to go to a class or classes. But they don’t know where to go. They don’t have anyone to help them. If you invite someone to Sunday School, meet them at a door so they won’t have to find their way through your facility–even if it is a small one. Put a face on your first impression. Don’t tell people where to go; take them there! That means ideally your Sunday School would have at least two greeters at all strategic entrances. If you have a welcome center door, that will encourage guests to enter one door. Encourage your greeters to say late. Make sure they are friendly. Choose people who represent the age group you want to reach.
Review these three areas. At which are you strongest? Which needs help? What can you do this week to change that fact? First impressions are often permanent. Give your best effort to God. Check out Part 2 and Part 3 for more suggestions. Invite p eople to class. Invite them to join. Care for people. Love them to Sunday School. Love them to Him! Be revolutionary!