Over the last month, I have been asking pastors at our Sunday school conferences in Tennessee, what steps they have done to keep their Sunday School as a growth Strategy for our church?
Fred Ward is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Huntingdon, Tennessee. He declared that he believes constantly prospecting and a strategy for assimilation has been the key to growing his Sunday School.The late Andy Anderson used to say that a church literately killed itself visiting if all they ever visit is chronic absentees. Finding prospects ranks right there with finding teachers as too of the biggest obstacles Sunday School must overcome. How are you finding prospects?
94.1% return if contacted by a Sunday School Teacher and 88% of prospects getting involved in Sunday School will join the church. These were two amazing stats shared by Steve Freeman, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Springfield. When Steve became the pastor at Grace, the church was averaging about 70 in Sunday School and three years later, the church is averaging 183. His background was in business and he quickly realized that he needed to develop a process for outreach and assimilation. Just like FBC Huntingdon, the church intentionally gathers information on guests attending worship and other events. He personally assigns these guests and prospects to a Sunday School class and holds the teacher responsible for contacting these prospects for their class promptly. 94.1% of those contacted by phone or visit by their teacher will attend Sunday School at least once. What is your church’s strategy for assimilating prospects?
At Wallace Memorial Baptist Church, every Sunday School class is expected to participate in the Outreach Strategy of the church. This church, according to Pastor Mike Boyd, averages 100 each week in Visitation (10% of its attendance). Over the last few years, many pastors have told me that visitation doesn’t work, that people don’t respond. Mike’s church proves that this is just a myth. God still blesses churches that Go! Are your Sunday School classes supporting your church’s outreach and evangelism ministry?
During the last 20 years, there seems to be a de-emphasis on Sunday School as the outreach arm of the church. Randy Davis, the Executive Director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, responded to this statement, “If Sunday School directors, minister of education, and pastors don’t have a passion for evangelism, you will not lead your church and your Sunday School to be the evangelism, outreach arm of the church. He stated that he believes Sunday School is still the best mechanism to do ministry and to fellowship and to reach people for Christ.”
Are you using your Sunday School to effectively reach, teach, and minister to a lost and hurting world?
State Sunday School Director for the Tennessee Baptist Convention