Darryl Wilson serves at the Kentucky Baptist Convention and serves as Sunday School & Discipleship consultant. We appreciate him allowing us to republish this blog post.
I wrote a post almost a year ago entitled ‘Barriers to Sunday School Growth’. There (and in the series which followed), I listed and detailed 20 growth barriers. I don’t plan to recreate that list here. I simply want to acknowledge 4 requirements without which Sunday School growth is impossible.
If you listed only 4 requirements for Sunday School growth, what would be on your list? Stop and jot down your list before continuing to read. Here is my list:
Prayer (God’s Involvement)
To often we ignore prayer and God’s involvement. Too often we do not listen or follow He leads. When was the last time you set aside time to pray for Sunday School, workers for the harvest, people to be reached, and lives to be changed? Set a date to gather and pray. Be persistent. Enlist a prayer leader for every class. Pray.
More leaders enable more care. God gives leaders a vision for accomplishing the mission. Training teaches and reminds leaders of what and how things need to be done. Leaders identify and navigate around barriers. Leaders lead classes to set goals and accomplish them. An outreach leader is a key leader for growing your class. Much work is done between Sundays, but leaders also need time during Sunday School to do their work. Train. Lead.
Enrolling New People
This begins with prayer and making a list of prospects. Assign caring contacts regularly and follow up on every assignment. People await our invitation. When we invite and care for them, many come. When we follow up with care, many return. When they return, we enroll and care for them persistently.
Starting New Classes
New classes enable more care for more people, including lost people. Each new class on average reaches and enrolls 20-25 people. Of those enrolled, about half of them (10-12) will attend. Determine the people group to be reached. Enlist a class leadership team. Prepare space and order curriculum. Regularly invite FRANs (friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors) to a fellowship and to the new class.
How did your list of requirements compare? Which of these four does your Sunday School do well? On which does your Sunday School need to work? Focus on one at a time and do it well. Then address the next one. Pray. Enlist and train. Invite and enroll. Start new classes. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!