START & GROW A CLASS

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.

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GROW THAT ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS

Last week I had the opportunity to post some of the procedures and practices I used in building the Adult Sunday School at Shawnee Baptist Church while pastor there. I titled it: How To Start An Adult Sunday School Class.

Obviously getting started is just the beginning. Many people are good starters but they are not maintainers or finishers. We will never build strong Sunday Schools without leaders that faithfully practice a few basic things, even after the new wears off.

This week I am enjoying being part of the Spring Bible Conference in Dover, PA. where Dr. Sterling Walsh is the pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church and they are seeing some amazing growth filling all their Sunday School space. It is a joy to also have speaking Dr. Tim Rabon. Tue. AM they will host a preachers meeting at 10 AM. Mrs. Janet Walsh will also host a ladies meeting at 10AM where Mrs. Nancy Mattingly and Mrs. Sharon Rabon will speak to the ladies.

This coming Sat and Sun Nancy and I will be with Pastor Chris Teis at the Open Door Bible Baptist Church of Howell, NJ. having a Soul Winning training weekend.

I will post some reports on these meetings next week. For now I do ask you to pray for God’s presence and power.

Here is the outline of ideas for growing an Adult Sunday School Class once it is started.  Use the ideas.  Fill those classrooms.  Get the Word of God into as many lives as you can.  In a week or so I will post some additional Sunday School material that I have used to help Sunday School teachers reach more of their potential.

HOW TO GROW AN ADULT CLASS ONCE STARTED
Pastor Lonnie Mattingly

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

HOW TO START AN ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS

One of the greatest tools God allowed me use and be involved in when I was pastor at Shawnee Baptist Church was the Sunday School.  I started several classes, built them to 30 or 40 then turned them over to the assistant, waited a few months then started a new class.
As a result I always felt like I was getting a fresh start and a fresh challenge.  In addition I was training adult Sunday School teachers.  The list below is only a skeleton and not all inclusive.  It is however, a great start to establishing a new class with the pastor’s blessing of course.
A little later I will give my list of things to do to grow a class once it is started.  A new class like a new church will grow faster than an established class.
Dr. Lee Roberson would challenge me every time he came to Shawnee Baptist Church to build the Sunday School and to reach adults.  If you have ideas that you have used to start an Adult class let me know.  I may add them to my list as I travel and share ideas with pastors who are trying to get their Sunday Schools motivated.
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