What Sunday School growth goals do you have for the year ahead? Take out pen and paper and jot down your ideas. Sunday Schools (and classes) that fail to grow tend to have no (or poor) plans for growth. That often means there are no goals.
Even some with goals can focus on maintenance rather than growth. For instance, replacing chairs and painting may be needed, but improvements will not grow your Sunday School or class. Planning a fellowship for Sunday attenders is needed to maintain strong community, but it will not help you gather absentees or prospects unless you invite them.
- MORE PRAYER. Sunday School is a spiritual endeavor. Sunday School is an effective tool in helping leaders and churches carry out the work of the Great Commission. It is impossible to do it effectively solo. God sent Jesus so we would not stay the way we were. In a similar way, God desires to do a work in and through your Sunday School. Allow Him to lead. Gather for prayer. Pray for workers (Matthew 9:38), new ideas, and new people. Pray to lead the saved to grow as disciples and the lost to become saved. Assignment: Set a monthly time to pray together for Sunday School.
- MORE PLANNING. Your Sunday School and class work will be more fun and effective when you plan together. Creativity and ownership of the plans will increase. Movement in the right direction will be ensured. Leaders will be developed. Gather to evaluate, identify priorities, set goals, and make plans to carry out those goals. Assignment: Calendar an annual time to evaluate and plan and monthly times to check on progress.
- MORE CARE. In order for Sunday School to grow, more leaders are needed to provide care for members, absentees, and prospects. One leader can only provide quality care for about five people. Increasing caring contacts with members, absentees, and prospects tends to result in increased participation. Every class needs a leader to help the class focus on members and one to focus on prospects. These leaders need training and Sunday time to make caring contact assignments. In addition, new groups will need new leaders. Assignment: Pray for workers, write job descriptions, set enlistment deadline, provide the training, launch the care, report the contacts.
- MORE GROUPS. New groups tend to reach more new and lost people. On average a new group will reach 10+ in attendance and 20+ in enrollment in 12-18 months. Start new groups with a leadership team of 2-5 people. Promote and invite to the class for a month prior to its start. Add at least one new group every year. Assignment: Pray for a leadership team, decide on the target group, decide when and where the group will meet, plan the promotion of the group.
- MORE PEOPLE. A class or Sunday School that does not reach new people had decided to die. That’s true because people drop out due to death, jobs, moving, sickness, and more. Growth (and the Great Commission) requires reaching new people. Each class should set a goal to reach new people in their assigned age group annually. Assignment: Every class enrolls 1 new person each quarter this year.
Gather your Sunday School or class leadership team to pray together. If you don’t have a team, gather those who are willing to pray with you. Work on the top two goals first (prayer and planning). Then work on the next two (care and groups). Then go after more people with your caring leaders and new groups. Don’t forget to continue to pray and to gather to check on progress.
Make sure you celebrate what God does. Give Him praise and thanks. Pursue Sunday School growth goals. Be revolutionary!