In a series beginning with Steps Toward Sunday School Change, Part 1, I shared eight steps toward change: prayer, attention, evaluation, motivation, commitment, ownership, action, and repeat. I pointed out that leadership is the medium in which those steps are carried out. Without leadership, those steps will stall in being carried out.
In this series, I have applied each of those eight steps to the context of the Sunday School class pursuing a specific change: leading the class to shift focus to prospects and people not in the class. Most class change will be led by the teacher, but class change will benefit from involvement of others in the class besides the teacher. In other words, greater ownership for the change will help create motivation and momentum for the change.
In this blog post, I will consider how to get others in the class to carry out (act on) the change: focusing on prospects and people not in the class. Without action, all the previous steps fail to produce results. While the act of prayer is never wasted, the other steps become a waste of time and energy. Without action, a focus on prospects and people not in the class is merely a mental exercise. No real change occurs.
What can be done to help the class act on the God-led awareness, preparation and ownership of this need for Sunday School class change: focusing on prospects and people not in the class? Like in previous posts of this series, let me list a few of the many, many possibilities:
- consider how to dovetail the strengths and passions of the class with actions leading them to take steps toward praying for, communicating with, fellowshiping with, inviting, and enrolling prospects;
- ask for names and contact of information of friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors not enrolled in Sunday School;
- provide a business size card for wallets or purses on which you ask them to write the names of prospects and lost people to pray for daily;
- do an opinion poll of a neighborhood in the ministry reach of the church asking five key questions;
- allow class time for attenders to develop a Sunday School testimony and practice sharing it;
- allow class time for attenders in pairs to write and share a simple evangelistic testimony;
- regularly take time in class for an individual to share a Sunday School or evangelistic testimony;
- prayerfully set a God-sized goal for enrolling new class members and regularly report on progress toward the goal;
- invite a church neighborhood to Vacation Bible School;
- search the church membership roll for members not enrolled in Sunday School and pray for, love on, and invite to class and class fellowships;
- pray for, claim, focus on, and invite a narrow age group for a quarter–then another the next quarter;
- provide a booth at baseball or soccer fields for giving away free bottles of water;
- conduct random act of kindness days;
- adopt a school, fire station, or police station and provide appreciation gifts, encouragement, and help as needed;
- get census or other neighborhood demographic information in order to better pray for and understand the area, people, and their needs;
- invite some unenrolled people to complete a survey to help you understand the community;
- invite prospects and people not in the class to attend class fellowships;
- challenge the class to invite prospects to their home or a restaurant for dinner, dessert, or coffee/coke (and share the results);
- enlist class greeters to make a great first impression with Sunday morning guests;
- add prospect names to care group lists to contact, care for, and pray with weekly;
- ask a prospect for personal or class help;
- invite a prospect to participate with you in a ministry or mission project;
- invite a prospect to meet at a neutral place: go to a concert, ball game, flower show, bowling, etc.;
- keep good records of guests and prospects and their contact information;
- and many, many more.
What actions would you add to this list? How have you successfully led your class to take action toward a needed change? How would your class best “act out” a focus on prospects and people not in the class? Press Comments below and share your ideas. Without the first steps, they may not be ready to take action on the change our Lord desires for your class. How can you lead then to do the change? Stop talking about it and do it!
What change does God desire for your class? Pray for the change. Give it attention. Stop to evaluate. Motivate attenders to focus on the change. Lead them to commit and own the change. Do it! Listen to God before, during, and after the change. Follow His leadership. Help others to see the need for change and invite them to join as you gain their attention and their involvement in evaluation and action. Be revolutionary!
Here are the first six posts of this series: First Step Toward Sunday School Class Change: Prayer, Second Step Toward Sunday School Class Change: Attention, Third Step Toward Sunday School Class Change: Evaluation, Fourth Step Toward Sunday School Class Change: Motivation, Fifth Step Toward Sunday School Class Change: Commitment, and Sixth Step Toward Sunday School Class Change: Ownership.