Ever feel like you were born in the wrong time period? Maybe the wrong century? I feel like that sometimes, because I get excited about Sunday School. Lots of churches still have Sunday School, but I am not sure it gets much attention or energy these days. In my opinion, a church that puts it’s Sunday School program out front, promotes it, resources it, grows and expands it will be a healthy, growing, disciple making church. I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. It’s real and I’ve seen it happen outside the Bible belt. In fact, I’ve never served inside the Bible belt.
Sunday School sort of seams like it’s out of style. No one really wants to do much with it, it’s said to be for kids, said to be out of date. Some people say its too shallow, some say it’s not worth the effort. Churches these days build for lots of worship space and not as much Sunday School space. It takes a lot of workers to staff, and off site Small Groups are the thing now. Don’t get me wrong, I love Small Groups and I have learned a ton over the last 10 years about how they can do amazing things in a church. I love Small Group, but there is nothing like Sunday School. It’s an amazing resource that sorta gets middle child treatment.
I’ve seen the percentage of people who attend worship service and Sunday School drop over the last decade and a half I’ve been in vocational ministry. I know men who have served for twice as long, they see the trend better than I do. It’s falling out of fashion, people come to the worship service, maybe a Wednesday night thing sometimes, maybe a Small Group, but Sunday School is not a huge priority. I would love to see that change. Want some suggestions to boost your class? I’m so glad you asked.
First, talk about it. If you are a Pastor, talk about it. When you do announcements, tell everyone you hoped they were in a Sunday School class. Promote your classes, celebrate your classes, celebrate your teachers. Get people excited about it.
Next, get people involved. If people have been around the church for years, but not really doing much, ask them to help by being a recorder for a Sunday School class. This involves taking roll, maybe writing down addresses and prayer requests. It’s an easy job. There are lots of easy jobs you can tie to Sunday School. You can have someone be the greeter, have someone bring or make coffee, you can get people involved in ministry and help them grow.
Next, make sure you have good flow and traffic control. You need people who will guide new folks, direct traffic and help them find classes. Label everything, put up signs and maps and bigger signs and arrows and directions. Help them get to class, help them find a class and help them feel at home in class. Get the folks in church to class.
Finally, have meetings with your teachers and leaders and department heads and anyone else who will come in. Have meetings a lot, talk about your dreams and your vision and your mission and your victories and your struggles. Help your teachers, help them with preparations, help them teach better, help them study better. Call Josh Hunt and read all of the books by David Francis at Lifeway, read Sunday School Done Right and Sunday School in HD. Call me and I’ll tell you all about the LIVE strategy. Find out who Arthur Flake was, make him your homeboy. Talk to the guys at your state offices. You can always call me! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get your classes rolling. You will definitely not regret it.