Archive for Sunday School

The Ask (Asking A Guest to Join the Group)

Mark 1:17 reads, “Follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fish for people.” (HCSB)

Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus asking people to follow Him. Jesus wanted people to join Him on His mission to seek and save the lost, but to accomplish this mission Jesus made the habit of asking people to join Him.

Yet many Sunday School classes and small groups often forget to ask a guest participating in their group if they would like to join it!

People will rarely enroll in a group unless they are asked. An informal survey of people joining the church’s small groups or Sunday School are often people that are joining the church and are simply taking the next required step of membership. Asking someone to join your group is so simple…

Ask them!!

Here are a few helpful ideas…

  • Make sure enrollment cards are available at every meeting. That also includes a writing utensil that works.
  • Combine the guest and enrollment cards. Simply add a checkbox to the guest card that states: “I would like to join this group.”
  • Whoever is responsible for taking roll in the group should ask every guest to fill out the guest card, and be sure to ask them if they would like to join the group.
  • If possible, the person responsible should offer to fill out the guest card for the guest. Not only does this lead to asking the above question, but it also means that someone can read the handwriting on the card!
  • Use the proper verbiage and attitude. “Would you like to join our wonderful group?” sounds so much better than, “You wouldn’t want to join our group… would’ya?”
  • And… a guest does not have to be a church member or attend three consecutive times to join or enroll in the group!

All it takes is “the ask.”


Bob Mayfield is the Sunday School/Discipleship specialist at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Bob also has his own blog at
Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobmayfield and on Facebook at

Connecting Your Group and Guests on Facebook

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (I Corinthians 9:22-23 NIV)      

Have you ever considered how Facebook can help your class reach new people and share Good News? Here are some ways you can do so:

  1. Advertise a Sunday School page for your church. The Millennials will find you on technology before they come to your church or class. Have a page that highlights every class with pictures, what you enjoy doing together, and what you are studying. They will feel more comfortable coming to your class if they see faces, and know more about the class.
  2. Advertise special fellowship and outreach events. Did you know that you can target groups on Facebook for $5-$10 in your area? I have a church in a small town that used Facebook for advertising a children’s event and gathered between 300-400 people. You can target age groups, affinity groups and more.
  3. Use Facebook to follow up your lesson that week. I have used posts starting Sunday evening through Wednesday to follow up a lesson with more questions, video links and stories so learners will keep reflecting on how the passage applies to life. An added bonus was when they responded. It goes to their news post as well. Of course, this means all of their friends including unchurched get to read them. (Please keep them positive and focused on Scripture!)

If we are to be all things to all people so we might win some, Facebook can be a tool to do just that!

Dr. Tony Brooks is the Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist for the Baptist General Association of Virginia. You can see his weekly blog at:
Facebook- @
Twitter- @TonyBrooks7


100 Small Changes Later…

100hashtag At the beginning of this series, David Francis introduced our blog to what would be 100 daily posts that provoke conversations about little things all of us can do to make our groups better.  These were not game changers or radical transformations of teaching methods.  These were small changes that could lead to minor course corrections in the direction of your group.  Most of them were not new ideas but simply reminders of things that need to be done.

We want to reflect back to the first post in this series, David Francis’ introductory article on August 1 of this year.

Sunday School is a system. It’s a bunch of things—big and small—that make a Sunday School excellent instead of mediocre.  Each relates to another and that to another and so on and so on. So what if every little thing you improved resulted in just one more person coming to Sunday School, coming back to Sunday School, enrolling in Sunday School, attending regularly in Sunday School, serving in Sunday School, and inviting another to Sunday School? Each of the 100 ideas you’ll read about in the next several weeks may seem inconsequential taken alone. But put 50 or 60 or 70 or 80 into practice and see what happens!

So, here we are.  100 articles later.  You now have 100 ideas from which you can draw for solutions to little roadblocks you may face while leading your group. Come back to this site often and refer back to these posts when you seeking answers.  We are here for you and will continue to be here with fresh insight and ideas to strengthen your group ministry.

The contributors of this blog will continue to add posts–only not as frequently as every day.  When a good idea comes to mind, we will share it here with you, the leaders of the movement.  Stay connected with us on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you for joining us on this journey of discovery. Keep making #SmallChanges that will grow your groups and help make disciples.

3 Ways to Celebrate New Leaders

celebrationWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Paul instructed Timothy to take what he had learned from Paul and pass it on to others who would do likewise. Leaders are needed to raise up laborers and become leaders to raise up others. When you cease to raise up leaders, you are only a generation away from extinction. Celebration encourages existing and new leaders.


Inside the Group. Every leader in every group should be challenged to have an apprentice. They should disciple the apprentice to develop spiritually and to develop the skills necessary for ministry. They should give the apprentice opportunities to serve in their presence and should celebrate the day they are ready to step out on their own. When Jesus (Luke 9 and 10) experienced His disciples making disciples He rejoiced in the Spirit and praised the Father (10:21). When leaders raise up leaders in your group, celebrate!

Before other Groups. Many churches have a recognition service or an appreciation banquet for leaders. Celebrate new leaders and the individual(s) that mentored them during this event. If you wanting to quit begging for leaders, start celebrating when leaders multiply! Calendar an appreciation event this year!

Before the Church. Affirm and recognize new leaders in front of your congregation. You want others to get to know new leaders, and you want to inspire members to become leaders. Celebrate the new leader by having the mentor stand with them. This is a reminder for all leaders to develop an apprentice into a new leader.

Scheduling Makes Class Time More Effective

scheduleWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? I’ve been accused of calendaring everything, even my own funeral!  There is a story but way too long for this short blog.  Even in our Sunday School classes we need to be better organized with the limited time that we have on Sunday mornings.  The following is a schedule that I like to use and recommend to other Sunday School teachers and leaders.  Please note that this is for an adult class and will not work in a class for preschoolers or elementary age children.


Fellowshipping Together (5-10 minutes)

  1. The FELLOWSHIP LEADER will provide light refreshments.
  2. The SECRETARY will begin the record keeping process.
  3. The ADMINISTRATIVE LEADER will make announcements and serve as the timekeeper.

Evangelizing Others (5-10 minutes)

  1. The GREETER is welcoming everyone and assisting guests to be registered.
  2. The MISSIONS LEADER will lead the group to be involved in missions.
  3. The OUTREACH/EVANGELISM LEADER will lead the group to pray for the lost, be involved in outreach ministry and contact those on the prospect list.

Loving People (5-10 minutes)

  1. The CARE GROUP LEADERS will report on prayer needs and ministry opportunities discovered as well as identify those absent and make plans for follow-up.
  2. The PRAYER LEADER will lead the group to pray for specific needs and ask for other prayer needs.

Investigating God’s Word (30-45 minutes)

  1. The DISCIPLESHIP LEADER will remind the group of the importance of a personal worship time and distribute devotional guides.

The TEACHER or the APPRENTICE will lead the will lead the Bible study.  Bible study should have at least 30 minutes.



By: Dr. Smith serves as a state missionary with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and is the Groups and Faith Development Specialist.  Visit their website at for more information and other resources to aid your ministry.  You can also connect with Dr. Smith at or  Dr. Smith is available for conferences or other speaking opportunities and can be contacted at