There are many appropriate Sunday School class growth goals to pray over and seek God’s leadership about. Some already have God’s approval–like making disciples of all nations and loving God and your neighbor as yourself. But even those goals will benefit from His blessing, leadership, and help.
Consider adding these class growth goals this year:
PRAY. One essential goal for your class is to pray. Pray for boldness, compassion, and discernment to set the right goals and to act in the right ways. Pray for patience and persistence in pursuit of the plans He gives you. Pray for unity and success as you fight through discouragement, difficulties, and conflict. Pray for a clear vision of what accomplishing the goals would look like. Pray for His presence and peace along the journey. Pray for your goals. Pray for your members. Pray for your lessons. Pray for your ministry, outreach, and mission.
OUT. Set goals to make relationships with people in the community: friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors. Set goals for caring actions. Set goals for ministering efforts. Plan to invite them to your homes, for coffee, and for class fellowships and projects. Plan to ask them how you can pray for them. Plan to invite them to class sessions. Set goals for contact by phone, electronic, mail, and visit. Set goals for guests (people who actually show up from your invitations). Set goals for new members/enrollment. Divide the goals by quarter or month, and track the results. Remind them of the goal. Plan to apprentice another teacher and start another class. Make plans for accomplishing the goals. Reach out!
REACH IN. Don’t forget each other. Notice when someone is absent. Organize to contact and care. Set up care groups. Set goals for contacting every member (regular and absentee) every week. Use name tags to get to know each other’s names (and those of guests). Have regular class fellowships and projects. Seek participation in every lesson. Get to know and care for each other. Give all attenders a job. Enlist a class secretary, care group leaders, greeters, and others. Reach in!
DISCIPLE. Help all attenders make spiritual progress. Get to know them. Ask questions. Listen to them. How are they growing in the fruit of the Spirit? How are they struggling? How are the growing more like Christ? What do they need to know? What do they need to do? What spiritual disciplines need to be strengthened? How could accountability partners help them take growth steps? How could they help each other pursue personal plans for spiritual growth? Expect them to apply the truth of each lesson. Ask next week how they did at living out the truth. Disciple!
EVALUATE. Regularly stop to check on progress toward goals. Evaluate events and ministry. Involve others in the evaluation. Seek their ownership and input. Make adjustment to plans when needed. Remember to pray. Evaluate!
Look through these five goals. Which is most needed by your class? Take steps to lead your class to pray for, set, and pursue these class growth goals this year. Pray, reach out, reach in, disciple, and evaluate! Give God your best effort at making disciples of all nations.
Darryl Wilson serves as the Sunday School & Discipleship Consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He served as Minister of Education in five churches in Kentucky and South Carolina. He is also the author of The Sunday School Revolutionary!, a blog about life-changing Sunday School and small groups.