Responses from the Fastest Growing Sunday School in Tennessee have common themes that they feel are key in growing their Sunday Schools. Foremost the pastor is supportive of Sunday School to the point of it being a high priority with him. He promotes the mission of the Sunday School from the pulpit to engage the church members. He encourages teachers in their work. He is actively involved in planning the work of Sunday School.
Starting new classes regularly to meet current needs of members and prospects is also a key component to growing your Sunday School. These classes need to have well-trained, dedicated and consistent teachers. Bible teaching is imperative and community outreach ministry through these classes and the church at large are essential.
The Sunday School organization is utilized as a strategy not just an event on Sunday morning, enabling the church to accomplish its scripture-mandated purpose. The Sunday School classes should not only teach the saved members of the class, but actively reach out to the community to bring in the lost. These churches do not see teaching as the purpose of Sunday School but the Bible is taught to accomplish the purpose of the Sunday School. That purpose is changing lives.
Flexibility appears again and again as a characteristic of these growing Sunday Schools. Class styles, space, place and times are instigated to respond to the needs and context of their community. One of the neat things about the study is seeing the best practices of churches based on church size. For examples, many of the medium and larger churches, which average above 200 in Sunday School, have multiple Sunday School hours and a larger mix of types of classes. Regardless of size, all of these churches refuse to let limited resources and lack of flexibility determine their growth.
All of these churches actively provide regular training to reinforce their vision and provide new information, ideas and skills. These churches utilize a variety of training, including leadership meetings, special training events or classes at their church, participation in association, state, and national events. Consider attending this year’s Equipping U events called Sunday School University. For a complete list of locations, go to our website at http://www.equippingu.org.
Persistence is another key to growing your Sunday School. Over the last three years, the names of the Fastest growing Sunday Schools have changed, as churches encounter challenges and obstacles. Growing Sunday Schools continue to implement time and true principles of Sunday School. Growth does not just happen. It requires dedication, patience, flexibility, and following God’s lead. Key Sunday School leaders are continually encouraging their congregation and Sunday School teachers in the mission and vision for Sunday School.
One Pastor’s quote sums up the vital importance of our Sunday Schools: “Attract Through Worship, Connect Through Sunday School”.