Flake’s Formula for Sunday School growth is all about proven principles that have stood the test of time. But knowing the right principles is only the first step. The next and perhaps even more important step is taking the time to understand how to implement these principles in your unique church context. Consider how the following ten aspects of your church can provide helpful information for designing an effective Sunday School strategy.
1. Worship Attendees: Who is attending Sunday morning worship but not Sunday School? Is there a certain age group, family make-up, or other characteristic that stands out? A new group or two may be identified from this population.
2. Sunday School Rolls: Careful examination of your rolls can reveal what people groups are attending and not attending, where “groups within the group” may be hiding, and what classes have matured beyond the listed description.
3. Class Structure: Take a fresh look at what groups are available at your church. Are there noticeable gaps in the line-up? Are there people groups who would have trouble easily understanding what group to attend if they visited your church?
4. Leadership Roster: How long have your current leaders been serving in their respective positions? When was the last time that new leaders were placed into service and what training have any of them received in the last year?
5. Longtime Leaders:
Great insight can be obtained by talking with those who have proven their love for Sunday School through years of dedicated service. What would they say is the mission of the Sunday School in your church? What do they see as its strengths and needs?
6. Church Calendar and Attendance Patterns: What are some of the historic “big days” in your church? What do the typical attendance patterns look like? Are there unique local factors that contribute? This information will help you plan emphases and training opportunities.
7. Current Church Schedule: How many hours per week does your church hold services or other functions at which everyone is expected to attend? What freedom exists within your current schedule to allow for leader training and possibly alternative class meeting times?
8. Current Church Ministries: Does your church have ministries organized for prayer, outreach, member care, or ministry service? Consider how these may be incorporated into the Sunday School in order to maximize involvement and use of time.
9. Church Member Work Schedules: Is there a portion of your congregation who is required to work on Sunday morning? They might attend a group offered at another time. Are Sunday School leaders also working in other ministries on Sunday or Wednesday nights? This will affect their availability for training.
10. Pastor: What is the pastor’s view on the use of Sunday School as the disciple-making strategy for the church? His understanding of the work of the Sunday School and his public support is essential to its success.
Know your church so that your Sunday School can reach its fullest potential.