26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. (Luke 14:26-33 NIV)
Starting new classes for Sunday School requires more than just knowing the possibilities for new prospects and classes. It requires us to prepare and to count the cost as a disciple in order to reach the lost and disciple our folks. To be a follower of Christ requires all of us to make disciples. It is hard work! Today we want to focus on: Enlarge the Organization!
Enlarge Departments: We must begin by remembering that new classes lead to growth. Where do you need to enlarge departments for Sunday morning? Do you need more classes in preschool…children…college…youth…adults? Arthur Flake put it this way in 1922:
It will be necessary to enlarge the organization in order to take care of all the people on the church roll and those discovered in the census. There will be no use to go on with the same old organization hoping to increase the size of the Sunday School permanently. Unless the present Sunday School organization is enlarged, practically all of the work done in taking the census will come to naught.
To be sure, a few people will join the Sunday School as a result of being visited during the census, but there can be no large permanent growth unless there is an organization strong enough to reach, hold, and teach the people who should be in the Sunday School. The size of the organization needed is dictated by the number of pupils available, as revealed by the information secured (Building a Standard Sunday School, pp. 27-28).
Which departments do you need to expand based on prospects and growth? Do you have sufficient classroom space or do you need to look at multiple Sunday Schools? Come to the Leadership Gathering and I will help you with some answers: http://vbmb.org/events/lg/
Enlarge your parameters for space and time: Think outside of Sunday mornings. Refer to my last blog to consider other places for small group open Bible studies. Consider a class in a nursing home, fire department, police department, community gathering and hospital on Sunday mornings or at other times.
Enlarge your database for teachers: I will spend more time with this one on one of Flake’s five steps, but every SS teacher ought to have an apprentice to model how to teach a lesson.
Enlarge your departments with technology: Consider a Google Plus Hangout for college students who are away at school. (See my blog: The Future of Sunday School for more ideas.)
If we plan to live out of the Great Commission then we must prepare for the cost!
Click on the link for a free download of David Francis’ book, 5 Step Formula for Sunday School Growth: https://s3.amazonaws.com/bhpub/edoc/sunday-school-5-step-formula-booklet.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=1FAF154W9TVZ6M3REZG2&Expires=2093111076&Signature=U0g%2Bgwdm5WSmrBYejGxJCYLS42U%3D