Portland First Believes in Sunday School

Over the last twelve years, FBC Portland has hosted several state Sunday School Events. I have witnessed how God has blessed the church under Greg McCoy’s tenure. In 2008, the church averaged 472. The church was recognized by the Tennessee Baptist Convention as one of our Fastest Growing Sunday Schools for 2008 in the Large size churches (400-up in Worship attendance).

As a young minister of education in the 1980’s, I would attend Andy Anderson’s growth spiral conferences. Anderson would boldly declare that Sunday School Enrollment is the most important statistic in your church. If your enrollment increases, baptisms increase, worship attendance increases, offerings increase. I have found this true in my ministry and Steve Griffith, minister of education at FBC, must believe in enrollment also, because in 2008 the church netted 212 in new Sunday School members. Steve says, that new members are strongly encouraged to enroll in a Sunday School class before and after join the church.

In order to assimilate these new members, twenty-one new Sunday School units have been created in the past three years at First Baptist Portland. Their goal is to begin five more new units by next year.
Beginning new units have been the primary key to growing Sunday School.

Reaching new people has led to two of the greatest problem and biggest challenge facing growing churches: overcoming space obstacles and finding and developing leaders. To overcome the space obstacles, the church built a great new education and fellowship building. They have also begun a second Sunday School hour and have a goal of beginning a third in the 2010-2011 year.

In a response to the question, what would you say to other pastors and Sunday School Directors? Steve says to “Make Sunday School important. If it is not important to you, it won’t be important to
your people”.


About drmarkmiller

I serve as the Sunday School, Discipleship, Small Groups Specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention
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