By Dr. Steve Parr
How many Sunday School units or classes does your church have? When was the last time your church created a new Sunday School class? Creating a new class is not an easy task. However, your church will be hard pressed to experience sustained growth without the creation of new units.
Consider the following example: Find a church that has the same number of classes that they had five years ago and you will find a church that has not significantly increased their average Sunday School attendance. This may be true of your Sunday School.
Churches with growing Sunday Schools tend to start new classes as a strategy for encouraging new growth. Leaders in these churches understand that new units enlarge the organizational base, offer opportunities for inactive members to make a fresh start, reach age groups that may not have assimilated, and often result in numerical growth. Creation of new units requires leadership.
A grandfather was regaling his grandchildren with exploits from his military service. He explained that he had served as a paratrooper. “How many jumps did you make, granddad?” asked one of his grandchildren. “None,” he replied. Another child asked: “How can you say you were a paratrooper if you never jumped?” He responded; “Oh, I never jumped, but I was pushed over forty times!”
Your leaders may not volunteer to start a new class. They might need a small push from a motivating leader. Here is a challenge as you approach the coming Sunday School year. Plan to start at least one new class this Fall. Look for a class that has a wide age-span, a class that has filled their room to capacity, or a class that has plateaued in attendance. These are just a few possibilities for new classes. Identify a new teacher and begin preparing to launch a new class. Here is a simple step-by- step plan to accomplish this:
1. Enlist an apprentice teacher.
2. Allow them to teach at least once each month in the sponsoring class.
3. Announce the creation of the new class at least six weeks in advance.
4. Enlist four to six members or couples to go as “missionaries” to the new class.
5. One of the two teachers goes with the class “missionaries” to start the new class.
6. Celebrate and recognize all involved in the creation of the new class.