BY LINDSAY TERRY
There seems to be nothing more delightful to adults, teens and children alike, than an enjoyable surprise. Why not let this element of wonder and intrigue work for you in building your Sunday School attendance. I call it SURPRISE SUNDAY. I received the idea from Dr. J. R. Faulkner, President of Tennessee Temple Schools and Co- Pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The building up to this day is done in much the same way you would any other special rally day. Use all types of publicity methods in getting the word out, including newspaper, radio, TV, the mail, posters, handbills, telephones, CB radio and the list can go on and on.
Here’s how it works. Have a …
A. Surprise Preacher Choose a speaker that is highly favored among the people. Keep his identity a deep, dark secret Slip him into the city and only make his appearance known when it is time for him to preach. The people will be so excited it will lift the service.
B. Surprise Singer – The singer should be chosen in much the same manner as the preacher. Make his entrance to the pulpit as mysterious and dramatic as the preacher. The people will be delighted.
C. Surprise Teacher – Have guest teachers in some Sunday school classes, especially the large adult class and the senior high classes. These should be local people to keep down the expense. They should be well known to the pupils and favorites of everyone in general.
D. Surprise Hymnal – Place a slip of paper with the word “SURPRISE” on it at a certain place in the hymnal. It should be at the page of one of the congregational hymns. When that number is called the person should stand and be recognized and a gift certificate presented – a certificate to a Christian Book Store.
E. Surprise Bulletin – This is much the same as the hymnal idea, except, the person with the “surprise” in the bulletin should be recognized at a particular time in the service when the pastor chooses.
F. Surprise Usher – The thirteenth person, or any number, that the usher shakes hands with, receives from him a “SURPRISE” which entitles him to a gift certificate.
G. Surprise Visitor – The “victor” who is known only to the pastor gives a “surprise” to the 23rd person, or whatever number, who shakes hands with him, welcoming him to the service.
All of the visitors that day will really be welcomed.
H. Surprise Car – The head parking lot attendant gives a “Surprise” to the “31st” car on the parking lot. Watch the expressions on the faces of people as they drive up. They too, get a certificate.
I. Surprise Seat (Sunday School) – There should be a “surprise” seat in each Sunday school class with a small gift attached underneath.
J. Surprise Seat (Buses) – Have a “surprise” seat on each bus with a gift attached underneath. Once a child selects he cannot move.
K. Surprise Bus – The bus number is selected before Sunday to be the “surprise” bus. The whole bus load is taken by the local hamburger place on the way home. Each gets a burger, fries and coke.
They can only qualify for being eligible if they reach their goal for that Sunday.
All buses who reach their goals are given consolation treats on the way home, even if they are not selected as the “surprise” bus.
1520 Lavon Drive
Garland, TX. 75040
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