By Tim Massengale
Growing churches almost always have a strong, vibrant Sunday school ministry. There are some basics that every church should attend to if they want their Sunday school to help in their church growth plans:
Apply Flake’s Five Laws. Arthur Flake (1862-1952) is credited with contributing much to the amazing growth of the Southern Baptist Church USA. His four laws for Sunday school growth are: discover the prospects, provide the space, enlist and train the workers, enlarge the organization, and go after the people. Get this classic work, read and apply it.
Sunday Morning Teachers’ Prayer. About 15-20 minutes long. Strongly encourage all SS teachers to attend. Start promptly on time. End with standing worship.
Aim For Excellence (AFE) Teacher Motivation Program. Give strong recognition each month to all teachers that reach the AFE goal. See Total Church Growth for details.
Absentee and Guest Follow-up. Ensure your established procedures are followed. Any person that misses Sunday school should be contacted in some way: card, phone call, or a visit. All SS guests should receive a letter inviting them back.
Regular Staff Meetings. Quarterly is sufficient. Inform of upcoming plans, address needed improvements, solve problems, set goals, answer questions, challenge and inspire.
Regular Special Day Promotions. Special Sundays provide opportunities for saints to invite family and friends: Easter, Pentecost Sunday, Friend Day, Christmas, and more.
Bus, Van and Car Ministry. Bus ministry works if you will work it. When coupled with Parent Reach, it will consistently bring families and children to salvation.
Children’s Church. Once a month, bring all the kids together for great worship service with the focus being the altar service at the end. Encourage child salvation.
Annual Teacher Training. Usually 4-6 hours. Reinforce the basics of good teaching, introduce new concepts and stress spiritual values.
Annual Children’s Crusade and Camps. Bring in a good children’s evangelist at least annually. Run your bus routes. Encourage bus parents to come. Push for all bus kids to attend your district’s summer youth camp.
Set Attendance Goals. The total SS goal should be divided into class goals. Challenge each to hold various class contests to reach their attendance goals. Studies show that when total attendance grows, church membership grows also.
Accurate Records. Records are important for knowing where you are, where you are going, and what progress is being made. Attendance, absentees, visitors, offerings, bus riders, salvation results should be noted weekly. Wall charts help show areas needing attention.
Annual Staff Banquet. Let your staff know how much you value them. Give out certificates and awards for excellence.