In Part 1, I mentioned that over the years, I have been contacted by pastors who wanted to start a Sunday School or to restart a Sunday School that had stopped meeting years before. In reality, seeing the need to start a Sunday School is an important step. Then, in Part 1, I shared the first five of ten steps for starting a Sunday School: (1) pray for God’s leadership and blessing; (2) enlist a core leadership/planning team; (3) set a target date; (4) consider the possibilities; and (5) enlist and train workers. Now in Part 2, consider the final five steps:
- PLAN AND PREPARE. Flake said “provide the space and equipment.” Determine curriculum guidelines/choices. Order curriculum. Prepare space. Clean. Paint. If the church does not have the space needed, make whatever arrangements are needed. Place age groups in space of the right size (check out Room Specifications), and equip space to be appropriate for the age group (check out Equipment and Furnishings for children, youth, and adult space and Preschool Equipment, Part 1 and Part 2 for preschool space).
- COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. Share the vision with the congregations. Share it in meetings and fellowship times. Mention it to prospects. Communicate plans one-on-one and in groups. Plan meetings. Involve committees and teams. Involve lots of people. Put plans in words and in print. Talk about Sunday School until you are tired of talking about it, and then talk about it some more!
- INVITE. In advance, you can put together class rolls based upon teachers and workers and their families. Seek commitments from church leaders such as deacons, trustees, and others. Add them to the class rolls. Seek commitments from worship attenders by asking them to complete a registration card (have them available for the month before the launch). Add these to class rolls. Invite every church prospect. Get out into the community and invite. Complete a registration card for any prospect who is interested. Encourage church members to invite their families, friends, neighbors, school-mates, work-mates, and others. Register every new person who attends. Ask every person who attends if they would like to join the class. Add those who do not agree to join on that Sunday to a prospect list to pray for and invite back to class and to fellowship activities. Have greeters in place at church doors and in youth and adult classes.
- LAUNCH. Ask teachers/leaders to conduct prayer walks of their space the week before. When you have prayed and prepared well, Launch Sunday should be a celebration! Pause to give God praise and thanks. Recognize and thank leaders. Welcome guests.
- EVALUATE/ADJUST. Gather your teachers/workers to debrief the first week. What went well? What would they do differently next time? What is needed for next Sunday? What adjustments are needed? Is more curriculum needed? Do classrooms need to be swapped? Does another class need to be started? Does a teacher need encouragement? Be quick to fix, but do it well! Affirm teachers and workers individually and as a group. Again, spend time thanking and praising God.
Thinking about starting a Sunday School? Begin with prayer. Invite others to pray with you. Take steps following God’s lead! Be revolutionary!