In Three Simple Actions to Increase Sunday School Attendance, I mentioned these strategies which can lead to increased Sunday School attendance:
- FRONT DOOR. Personally invite and enroll new people. Invite them to class fellowships and projects. Get to know people in the community and in your home.
- BACK DOOR. When people join, care for them. When they are absent, contact them. Do it out of concern for them as persons rather than simply an attendance number. Organize the class to respond in care.
- LIVING ROOM. Make attendance and involvement meaningful. Set high expectations for attendance. Challenge members to have devotions, read lessons, and be present. Lead them to encounter God. Give assignments. Call when they miss. Encourage them to bring friends. Find them places of service.
When we give focus to all three of these actions, Sunday School attendance will naturally increase. As you are faithful and faithful at caring for God’s sheep, He will entrust you with more.
In this three-part series, I want to expand on those actions by offering strategies for accomplishing each of those actions. In Part 1, we will focus on Front Door action strategies. What goals do you need to set? What plans and assignments need to be made? Consider the following twenty strategy ideas:
- pray for God’s leadership, for those in the class, and those not yet reached;
- set, check on, and adjust annual and quarterly God-sized goals for attendance, enrollment, and invitations/contacts;
- prayerwalk your community;
- invite friends, relatives, and neighbors to class fellowships, projects, and homes (focus on a different group each month);
- challenge members to invite prospects when they are at work, at play, and in the marketplace;
- enlist greeters to welcome, register guests, and help with name tags;
- follow up with every guest in worship, Sunday School, and other church ministries;
- plan for, start, and announce new groups at and away from the church regularly;
- announce upcoming class or age group study topics monthly to members, absentees, and prospects as well as from the pulpit;
- assign class members to sanctuary sections to seek out and connect with guests who may be prospects for the class;
- develop an active prayer, ministry, and fellowship list of unenrolled/unconnected people;
- set up a system for assigning unenrolled people to class attenders to contact, care for, pray with, and invite each week;
- make contact with prospective members by visit, phone, card/letter, and/or email;
- enroll and contact every new church member;
- seek a list of all church members not enrolled in Sunday School; pray, care for, and invite them regularly;
- make a list of all unenrolled family members of Sunday School members; pray, care for, and invite them regularly;
- make class session exciting, participative, and guest-friendly; avoid embarrassing or using “churchy” words;
- invite worship guests every week to get connected in Sunday School;
- share regular Sunday School testimonies from the pulpit; and
- register guests for church-wide and community events and ministries; make class assignments to follow up.
How are you doing with that list? The more you implement, the more your Sunday School Front Door will be open. The more open your Front Do or, the more guests who will connect with your class, enroll, and take steps with Jesus. What would you add to the list? Determine the top three which are needed by your class or Sunday School. Number them in order of priority. Then commit to and pursue implementation of that strategy. Then move on to the second strategy. Don’t try to do too many at once–which would likely result in failure. Pray. Invite. Enroll. Grow. Be revolutionary!