One of the most difficult but rewarding things in my ministry has been starting new classes. There is no “One Way” to start new classes. There are, however, some bad ways to start new classes. For more ideas and information on “how to start” and “how not to start new classes”, go to Lifeway’s website at www.lifeway.com/newunits or read more from some of the other blogs listed.
In this post, I want to talk about how to start a new class well. There are four things you must do to make sure your new class is successful.
- Contact! Contact! Contact! – Remember that one of the keys to a successful start is relationships. That doesn’t just happen. Contact weekly. Start weekly contact even before the class starts. Keep up weekly contact after the class starts. And by the way, vary your methods. Call one week; send a personal note the next; then spend time with them in an environment away from the church on occasion.
- Teach the BEST lesson you can every week – Why would you invite someone to a bible study and not prepare the best bible study experience you can? Oddly enough, tons of bible study leaders do it every week. Don’t be one of them.
- Involve Others – Oddly enough, when you start a new class, people are more open to leadership roles in the class. The longer the class exists the less likely they are to step up. Involve others early and often.
- Pray and Play together – Plan a fellowship before you start the class. Plan fellowships monthly or once every two months. Nothing builds intimacy in a group than playing together or praying together.
Even if you do all of these things to the best of your ability, that does not guarantee success. I also know that if you don’t do these things listed above your chances of success diminish greatly.
So, start with a positive mindset that your new class will start well. Then set your heart and mind to do the four things above to improve your chances of success.
Blog was written by Sean P. Keith who is the Sunday School/Discipleship Strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention