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“KEY” Strategies For a Healthy Sunday School Ministry. Keith M. Stewart Consultant Sunday School/Open Group Ministries Georgia Baptist Convention. ssog.gabaptist.org. What do Southern Baptist Sunday Schools have in common?

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“KEY” Strategies For a Healthy Sunday School Ministry

Keith M. Stewart

Consultant

Sunday School/Open Group Ministries

Georgia Baptist Convention



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  • What do Southern Baptist Sunday Schools have in common?

  • Although they may appear to be doing the same thing, they are not getting the same results.

  • One of the key differences is how they view the purpose of the Sunday School.

  • The perceived purpose can be an energizer or a barrier!


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KEY #1 – Leaders Understand the Purpose of Sunday School

  • “The purpose of the Sunday School is to study the Bible.”

  • This definition is not incorrect; it is incomplete.

  • Historically, the purpose of the Sunday School was centered on the study of the Bible with the ultimate aim of reaching people with the Gospel as believers are directed by the Great Commission.


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KEY #1 – Leaders Understand the Purpose of Sunday School

  • The Driving Force of Sunday School is the Great Commission

  • “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”


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The Driving Force Should Not Be …

  • Tradition

  • Money

  • Structure

  • Power


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What is the purpose?

  • “Sunday School is the foundational strategy in a local church for leading people to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and for building Great Commission Christians through Bible Study Groups that engage people in evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, and worship.”


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KEY #2 – Sunday School is Organized for Growth & Ministry

PROSPECTS

CLASSES

LEADERS

SPACE

CONTACTS


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  • Good organization will encompass the church as well as individual classes.

  • To age-grade or not?

    • Age grading simplifies organization.

    • Age grading assists guests

    • Age grading assimilates

    • Age grading gives accountability for follow-up

  • Remember: We are called to be committed, not comfortable.


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Adult Class Leadership Team individual classes.The teacher cannot do it alone!


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Remember: individual classes.

  • “Sunday School is not just another organization in your church. It is the church organized for growth and ministry.”

  • Sunday School is assimilation

  • Sunday School impacts giving

  • Sunday School improves evangelism

  • Sunday School is ministry

  • Strong Sunday School = Strong Church


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KEY #3 individual classes. – Enrollment is Properly Defined & Applied

  • Enrollment is a list of people that I commit to minister to.

  • When do you enroll? When do you remove?

  • Open Enrollment:

    • Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime, As long as they agree.


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KEY #3 individual classes. – Enrollment is Properly Defined & Applied

Two Keys to Evaluating Enrollment:

1- How does your enrollment compare with your resident membership?

2- Attendance should be 40-60% of enrollment.

  • Less than 40% reflects weak ministry

  • More than 60% reflects weak outreach


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KEY #4 individual classes. – Contacts Are Made With Consistency

  • Contacts are ministry touches through visits, cards, e-mails, letters, or calls.

  • Effective ministries average 100% contacts each week!

  • Why? To minister to members and for outreach to prospects.

  • Results: Members know you care and prospects know they are wanted.

  • What happens when absentees go unnoticed?


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KEY #5 individual classes.– Leaders Are Trained For Effectiveness

  • II Timothy 1:6

  • “An untrained Soldier is nothing more than a target for the enemy.”– Andy Anderson

  • Every winning team meets to practice, prepare, and strategize!


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KEY #6 individual classes. – Space Is Provided For Growth

  • If you are going to grow you must have room to grow but don’t limit yourself because of no space!

    • Preschool formula - 35 square feet per person

    • Children’s formula - 25 square feet per person

    • Youth & Adult formulas - 18 square feet per person

  • Total education space square footage ____ divided by 45 square feet per person = ____ (MSSA) x 80% = _____ (ASSA).

    • (Average class attendance: Preschool:7, Children:10, Youth:8 & Adults:12)

  • Find new space, be creative!


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KEY #7 individual classes. – There Is Plan For Outreach

  • Churches cannot grow without prospects

  • A person is not a prospect until you have:

    • Name, Address, Phone, Age & Spiritual Condition

  • 1 of 2 lost people enrolled in Sunday School will be saved. 1 of 400 not enrolled will be saved.

  • Rainer Study of Assimilation:

    • 90% vs 10%


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Key #8 individual classes.- New Units are Created

  • New Units reach new people!

  • Adjust your terminology

  • Create a “missionary climate”

  • Plan, implement, and celebrate

  • Where Do We Start New Units?

    • Look at class performance: enrollment and attendance

    • Classes with too wide an age span

    • Classes to large for their room

    • Nearly and Newly Weds

    • Special Needs Classes

    • Off-campus Bible studies


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KEY #8 individual classes. – New Units Are Created

  • Take your enrollment and divide it by the number of classes.

    • less than 14 per class… a non-outreach church

    • 15-18 per class … a growing church

    • 19-29 per class … a maintenance or plateaued church

    • more than 30 per class … a declining church or your back door is wide open

  • The best way to create a class is to …


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Step By Step individual classes.

  • The teacher should enlist an apprentice.

  • The apprentice should teach once per month.

  • The teacher should announce the birth of a new class six weeks before.

  • Four to eight members or couples accept call as “missionaries” to new class.

  • Veteran teacher takes missionaries to new class.

  • Apprentice teacher becomes leader of established class.


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FINALLY: individual classes.

  • KEY #1 – Leaders Understand The Purpose Of Sunday School

  • KEY #2 – Sunday School Is Organized For Growth & Ministry

  • KEY #3 - Enrollment Is Properly Defined And Applied

  • KEY #4 - Contacts Are Made With Consistency

  • KEY #5 - Leaders Are Trained For Effectiveness

  • KEY #6 - Space Is Provided For Growth

  • KEY #7 – There Is A Plan Outreach

  • KEY #8 – New Units Are Created


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ssog.gabaptist.org individual classes.


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“KEY” Strategies For a Healthy Sunday School Ministry individual classes.

Keith M. Stewart

Consultant

Sunday School/Open Group Ministries

Georgia Baptist Convention


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