Sunday School Literature: An Effective Outreach Tool



Sunday School worker, are you concerned about outreach? discipleship? cultivation of known prospects? better teaching learning experiences? Then read on!

As a Sunday School leader, you know that these concepts are vital to an effective, life-changing Bible teaching program. You also are aware that there is another side to this coin: the need for varied, person-
oriented methods to accomplish these purposes. An organized plan of literature distribution helps in meeting this need.

Literature distribution, when backed by prayer and careful planning, becomes an ongoing opportunity for Sunday School teachers and officers to visit personally both members and prospects. Organized literature
distribution also helps motivate workers to visit, facilitates smooth dispensing of Bible study materials, enhances advance study of new materials, and builds stronger ties between teachers and members.

The goal of organized literature distribution is to place a pupil’s periodical in the hands of every pupil before the first Sunday of each new quarter and to preview the quarter’s Bible study material with him.

This plan highlights the potential that literature distribution has for outreach and discipleship. in addition, it eases the process of ordering, handling, and distributing literature by assigning various persons responsibility for each step.

Because of the two parts of this plan, the outreach leader in each department is responsible for seeing that literature is dispersed correctly. He works with his department director to make sure that all absentees are visited during the week before the new quarter. The Sunday School director and general secretary also are responsible for receiving, dividing, labeling, and distributing new Bible study materials.



Several steps are necessary to carry out this plan:

1. The Sunday School director should take time during a meeting of the Sunday School council to explain the procedure and to seek the support of council members.

2. Order Bible study materials based on current enrollment and anticipated growth. Keep in mind a department/division’s cultivated prospects those persons who are likely to become new members of the
Sunday School when orders are placed.

3. Either the Sunday School director or general secretary should receive and separate the new literature by departments. When the literature arrives at the church, this person will be the first to determine whether the order was filled properly. Any errors should be reported immediately to the Materials Services Department, Sunday School Board, 127 Ninth Avenue, North, Nashville, Tennessee 37234.

4. Once separated, the literature is ready for labeling. To maintain uniformity, Literature Name Stickers are available from the Materials Services Department, Sunday School Board, and may be ordered on the
Undated Materials Order Form (Item No. 0153-8; 250 in pkg). Names should be either typed or written clearly on the stickers, which are placed on the appropriate periodical. Teacher’s periodicals may be
included as well.

In large churches, age-group division directors or the church secretaries may assume this task.

5. It is important that the Sunday School director now meet briefly with department directors to review the goals of literature distribution. This time spent may encourage workers to visit and to discuss the plan with their teachers.

6. It is recommended that the Sunday School director deliver literature to the departments two weeks before the first Sunday of the new quarter, giving workers two opportunities to hand out literature. Extra pupil’s periodicals with blank name labels can be used for new members. Visitation assignments should be made after the second Sunday.

An exception should be noted by Preschool workers. They are encouraged to take new Preschool home books directly into the homes of preschoolers. In this way, Preschool workers can develop caring relationships with the parents of the preschoolers they teach.

7. The week before the new quarter is the time for visitation and delivery of personalized Bible study materials to take place. Visitors should take time to overview the next quarter’s Bible study material
with the absentee, expressing the joys of Bible study as they have experienced them. The absentee should be encouraged to study the Scripture passage and the pupil’s book before Sunday.

Visitors also should strive to make this a time of fellowship and sharing of class and personal concerns. Teachers can gain valuable insights that will help them make Bible teaching-learning more meaningful to members.

Some churches may want to include prospects in their literature distribution. The outreach value of such an effort cannot be fully estimated.

8. During visitation, workers may discover that members have moved within the city or that prospects have joined another church. They need to report this information to the church office for record corrections in anticipation of next quarter’s literature distribution.

After these steps have been completed, the goal of literature distribution should have been reached: to place a pupil’s periodical in the hands of every pupil before the first Sunday of each new quarter, and to have previewed the Bible study material with him.



Each year Sunday School Preparation Week is placed on the denominational calendar so that churches can have a regular time of planning, training, and study for the new year. Thursday through Saturday of the designated week is set aside for visitation and literature distribution.

Thus, Preparation Week is an ideal time for the Sunday School director to train his workers in using the literature distribution plan. During this week, especially, the importance of personally delivering new
Bible study materials to every member and prospect should be emphasized.


(The above material was prepared by Sharon Roberts, assistant editor, of the Program Promotion Section.)

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