In Part 1, I began a series sharing results from recently surveys of Kentucky Baptist Sunday Schools. Along with the 1,440 mailed, I emailed the survey to several friends and contacts in other states. The Kentucky surveys were mailed to churches whose Sunday School attendance had increased or decreased by more than 10% from the statistical years of 2003 to 2008. I did not mail to those in the middle (which would be considered plateaued). Of the 357 surveys returned, they included 122 growing, 197 declining, and 38 nonKentucky Sunday Schools.
In Part 1, I shared some survey results about reported differences between growing and declining churches. Those issues there were (1) how many Sunday Schools had changed their growth status, (2) apprenticing new leaders for new classes, (3) inviting people for a high attendance emphasis, and (4) budgeting money for Sunday School plans. In Part 2, I will share additional results. I will share the data preceded by sharing the survey statement and my brief comments. Think about the following five areas of your Sunday School ministry: prospect lists, planning meetings, parking, salvation, starting on-time.
PROSPECT LISTS. Statement: Each class has a prospect list with names and contact information for a number of prospects at least equal to the attendance of the class. Comment: Growing Sunday Schools are more likely to have class prospects lists.
|True of all classes||5.7%||4.1%||5.3%|
|True of most classes||9.8%||9.6%||5.3%|
|True of some classes||35.2%||29.9%||39.5%|
|True of no classes||47.5%||52.3%||50.0%|
PLANNING MEETINGS. Statement: Sunday School teachers and workers are involved in regular goal-setting, evaluation, and planning meetings each year. Comment: The most common planning meetings are occasional–less than quarterly. Growing churches are slightly more likely to have them more often.
PARKING LOT. Statement: Most Sundays, the church parking lot and available street parking during Sunday School is… Comment: Growing Sunday Schools are more likely to face the need to deal with limited parking.
SALVATION. Statement: People attending Sunday School have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord… Comment: Decisions for Christ happen slightly more often in growing Sunday School.
STARTING ON TIME. Statement: Compared to the official starting time, most classes in my Sunday School tend to start the first class activity (announcements, prayer, teaching, etc.)… Comment: Classes in growing Sunday Schools are more likely to start on-time.
In Part 3 of this series, I will share survey results about (1) chair arrangement, (2) age-grading, (3) available space in classrooms, (4) worship guest registration, and (5) available (unused) classrooms. In the meantime, reflect on these results. Go back to Part 1 to review those results. What can you learn from the data to lead your Sunday School to be in a growth posture? Honestly, ignoring any of these issues is to miss some growth opportunity. Pray. Evaluate. Identify needs and priorities. Set goals and make plans to grow. Be revolutionary!