Building Your Sunday School Organization To Assimilate New Converts
“Organize” is not one of those terms that when you hear it you are naturally stirred with excitement. However, without effective organization most projects, organizations, churches, and Sunday Schools fail.
In his book High Expectations: The Remarkable Secret for Keeping People In Church, Thom Rainer, emphasizes the importance of Sunday Schools that are organized with purpose. Sharing the results of a research project with 300 effective churches, he states, “The higher-assimilation churches had strong Sunday School organizations. And that organizational quality did not occur by accident. The quality was the result of hard work, persistence, perseverance, and a willingness to suffer short-term losses for long-term gains.”
Ken Hemphill, in Revitalizing the Sunday Morning Dinosaur, writes the following based on his experience of pastoring growing churches:
“I cannot overemphasize the importance of an organizational plan to ensure effective and balance growth…. An effective organizational plan simply places the resources of the church at the full disposal of the Lord, that they might be used in the most efficient manner for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.”
There are three key organizational issues in Sunday School:
1. Using age-graded, open Bible study groups as the primary organizing principle for Bible study groups. Churches across our convention are rediscovering the value of age-graded Sunday Schools as they focus on the mission of the Sunday School to reach people for the Lord Jesus Christ. Age-graded classes help the classes identify who they are on mission to reach and also who they are responsible to assimilate into their class.
2. Providing groups for all ages and generations, including preschool, children, youth, young adults, and adults. Effective Sunday Schools seek to provide the most narrowly focused Bible study groups possible in order to most effectively meet the needs of those they teach.
3. Relying on sound learner-leader ratios proven to be effective for each age group in developing the age-group organizational structures. It is very important to not only enroll people in Sunday School, but to also teach and minister to them effectively. Providing the proper learner-leader ratios provide the most effective atmosphere for that to happen.
Organizing your Sunday School to be used of God is genuinely a spiritual task. Organize your Sunday School so that it effectively carries out the Great Commission.
Can you answer yes to each of these questions regarding your Sunday School?
Do each of our classes and departments have a clearly defined target? Do we avoid overlapping the assignments groups? Are the assignments clear? Are the classes and departments made up of their assigned age groups?
Are the teaching units in our Sunday School the most effective size for ministry? Do we have the appropriate number of leaders based on the enrollment and age of the members of the group?
* Do we maintain effective records regarding the members of our Sunday School? Do the records reflect each individual’s birth date enabling us to study our organization and assign them to the proper unit?
* Do we provide at least 2 leaders in every preschool, children, and youth class?
* Do we make provision in our organization for persons with special needs? Some of these needs might include: mental retardation, visual impairment, learning disability, gifted, physical disability, multiple disabilities, hearing impairments, behavior disorders, speech impairments, autism, and brain injuries.
Wayne Poling is Sunday School/FAITH ministry specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, Tennessee.
The above article, “Building Your Sunday School Organization To Assimilate New Converts” is written by Wayne Poling. The article was excerpted from: www.lifeway.org web site. January 2013.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.