Exactly what Arthur Flake was getting at when he arrived at the first point of his “Formula” could be debated but the simple fact is that before we begin attempting to grow our Sunday Schools, we must understand what possibilities lie before us. I am not talking about what we, as leaders, in our own strength, can do either. I am referring to what God can and will do through us if we are surrendered to Him.
All five elements of Flake’s Formula stand on their own and they each provide strength to one another also. But as we look at each element, we have to remember that there are possibilities to look for and to plan for in every area of the formula-leader enlistment, training, meeting space demands, and evangelism.
Obviously, if we live in a metro area with thousands or hundreds of thousands of people within a few miles, the opportunities to reach more people is greater than if we are located in the middle of the mountains of Montana. So, one of the first things we have to look at is the possibilities of our prospect pool.
Secondly, whether we are in an area where the possibilities of numbers are great or small, we still always need to look at our leadership possibilities. Do we have people who can soon be put in leadership roles? Are they strong in their walk with the Lord? Are they on board with the overall philosophy of our church’s leadership? Have we looked “outside the box” for what space needs we might have as we grow? As we look at the possibility of an increase in attenders and leaders, are we considering the increase in budgetary needs in the area of curriculum costs? Also regarding finances, are we prepared to meet the needs of our children-toys, baby beds, snacks, craft materials, etc? Have we allowed for the training of our leaders and the possibilities of alternative methods?
One of the key elements of knowing the possibilities of your Sunday School is vision. What sort of vision do we, as a Sunday School leaders, have for our own Sunday School? It will never exceed our own vision for it. None of our leaders will see farther than we will. Have we let God’s Spirit seize our hearts for what He wants to do? Not every Sunday school will be a large Sunday School but every Sunday School can be a great Sunday School.
Finally, knowing the possibilities is not the end; acting upon the things God shows us is where not only the work begins but also is where the rewards begin. We need to begin by knowing and acting on the possibilities for our own specific Sunday Schools.