I had the opportunity to train a pastor and his church on how to properly enroll people in Sunday School. A few months later, the pastor and I attended a conference together on Sunday School health. The conference leader was sharing different ways to discover prospects. The pastor raised his hand and said, “We never have prospects!” The leader asked him if he had tried a variety of the techniques. The pastor replied, “We have tried them all, but as soon as we discover a prospect we ask them to enroll and they always agree; therefore, they are no longer prospects.” I am certain that I do not get a “yes” every time, but I do expect it.
Why do I expect people to agree to enrollment? Because I do not ask them to commit to the group, but I ask them if they are willing to have a group commit to serve them. Several years ago, I came to the realization that enrollment does not represent an individual’s commitment to the class, but the commitment of the class to the individual. Enrollment is not about a person attending the class, but it is about the class attending to the needs of the individual. Enrollment becomes the way a class extends its’ ministry and mission field by identifying people to whom it can demonstrate the love of Christ.
In general, when I meet someone I ask them if they have a group of people to pray for and support them. I tell them that I have a group that consistently will do that for me and that it brings me joy and comfort in my daily life. I ask them for the privilege of providing them with a group of people who will pray for them, share with them, and care for them if they have a need. I assure them that they have no obligation to the group, but that the group will be obligated to them. Then I ask, “Would you like to have a group of people praying for you, sharing with you, and caring for you and your family if you have a need?” I am not surprised when they say “yes!”
Sunday School has a mission of sharing the love of Christ with everyone. We express a willingness to be on mission when we offer people an opportunity to be enrolled. When they say, “yes,” provide the ministry that has been promised and you will discover that when we live as Christ, He draws people to Himself. Expect people to say, “Yes!” to enrollment, and then complete the mission.