Here we are at the beginning of a new year. Christianity and especially Fundamental Independent Baptists have come under attack. May I remind you that we should not be surprised when the Lord warned us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”: (1Pe 5:8)
Someone told me the best defense is a good offense. If were not careful we will be so busy defending ourselves that we will forget to do the work God left us here to do. I want to challenge you to reach the middle class adults in your area. One of the greatest ways to do so is to start new classes. New units grow faster than established units. The Sunday School is the church organized. Properly organized and administered the Sunday School will help close the back door and keep new folks coming in the front door.
In my years at Shawnee Baptist I tried to personally start a new class about every two to three years. It was hard to leave a class I had built. But, the joy of training new teachers and helping them succeed was worth it. I developed a couple of check lists over the years of things that helped me start a class and then build a class after it was started. I have read many other helps. The lists below are by no means exhaustive (maybe exhausting). If you have an existing class you may find some helpful ideas that will trigger some new growth methods for you.
HOW TO START AN ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS
1. Pray for the leadership of the Holy Spirit
2. Select a name for your new class
3. Determine the profile of your class (age, status, area, etc.)
4. Scan the church roll for prospects… Anyone on the church roll who is not enrolled in Sunday School is a potential prospect.
5. Survey visitors for prospects
6. Set a date for your grand opening
7. Determine the location and arrangements
8. Plan the organization … Start with an assistant if possible (ushers, greeters, secretary, set up, song leader, etc)
9. Decide not to steal from other established classes Instead pray for laborers
10. Build a mailing data base and write letters introducing your new class
11. Organize your class schedule
12. Organize your class records
13. Organize your follow-up procedures… (call, write, visit)
14. Make directional signs to your class… Goal: Be the easiest class to find without being obnoxious or appearing competitive.
15. Make class calling cards or brochures
16. Gather and organize all class tools and materials
HOW TO GROW AN ADULT CLASS ONCE STARTED
1. Scan the crowd 3 times a week looking for prospects (meet every visitor)
2. Visit faithfully (visit every absentee the first time they are absent)
3. Enroll new people every week
4. Have a goal of at least one lost person in attendance each week
5. Network with existing soul winning programs and outreach people to find more new prospects
6. Keep excellent records
7. Copy your roll book and prospect list as your Sunday School prayer list.
8. Promote the Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening services goal: to build your members
9. Build loyalty to the pastor and church in the hearts and minds of your members
10. Set the right example in personal standards and faithfulness
11. Plan some activities (one major activity per quarter and minor monthly) By planning around church services and campaigns you help tie your people to the overall program of the church and build unity
12. Activities can be fun, convenient and inexpensive:
Sun PM pie & ice cream
Sun afternoon picnic – and games
Sundae Sunday night
Video presentation (approved of course)
Work party (paint your class, work on grounds, adopt a flower bed, etc)
Nursing home outing or sponsorship
Use your imagination … there are hundreds of ideas that will build your class without breaking the bank.
13. Establish a class Soul Winning time…
14. Have a goal of winning Soul Winners – 2 Tim 2:2
May this be a great year of Spiritual and Numerical growth in our Sunday Schools.