Once a class hits 40, it needs to split - it bumps a glass ceiling. Implement these 5 steps to relaunch your class in January 2013:
1). Build a Leadership Team. Your class needs:
- Teacher (and assistant)
- Outreach leader
- Prayer leader
- Social leader
- Communication leader
- Hosts (see below)
2). Be specific with your class' identity. I'm 34 - do I attend the young adult class, median adults, young married adults, or couples class? Your class needs to be "status specific." People best connect with others within 15 years of their age. A 23 year-old doesn't need to be in a S.S. class with a 58 year-old. Have a target and gear your lessons and outreach towards it. Also make sure your class develops an identity of starting and stopping on time.
3). Create opportunities for your class to connect. You need to have your best friends in Sunday School. If you're teaching a 45 minute lesson and leaving little to no time for discussion - your class might feel like they're sitting through another sermon. Sunday School shouldn't be round 2 of church. Use discussion, sit at tables, work in teams, testimonies, interview class members and group homework allows your class to connect.
4). Establish a communication forum. You need someone following up with guests, reminding everyone of prayer requests, and inviting people to come to Huddle House for lunch. Contact with your class throughout the week is a must. Closed Facebook groups, email or text lists, calling tree, or a postcard in the mail keeping everyone in the loop. Important - make sure every single person (including first-time guests) are on the contact list.
5). Use hosts. Remember when churches use to have a "Greeter Ministry?" This might have been THE most important ministry (after nursery). Every class needs 3 or 4 hosts (the post-modern word for "greeter.") These men and women welcome late people, speak to all guests 2 times, give up their chair for others, purposely sit at tables with "lone rangers," remember every person's name, and give coffee and donuts to guests (without asking if they'd like some, assume they do). A host goes above and beyond making all new people feel welcome - they secretly single out first and second time guests. Hosts also use guest cards to follow-up later in the week.