We had our December meeting for the Belmont teaching team and discussed naming classes, outreach teams, the perfect time to catch up with absentee folks, class structure and a new teaching flow you just might want to add to your tool box. Click on the link for the notes of the meeting or listen in on our discussion!
One of the first business books that I read in my early thirties was Tom Peter’s, The Pursuit of Wow. He talked about the principal of going beyond the expected, and how that can make a huge impression.
For folks who are new or returning to church, Sunday school can have a bad rap. They might have impressions of outdated, irrelevant and boring teaching. They might be terrified that it’s a gathering of Bible scholars that would immediately cast derision on their complete ignorance of anything spiritual. Who knows, they might even think that it’s where you make macaroni art!
When you think about it, we don’t have to do a whole lot to go beyond what’s expected.
- A phone call thanking them for visiting the class (or better yet, inviting them to the class and meeting them at the greeters station to walk them in)
- Having food and good coffee in class
- Taking them to lunch after church their first week of visiting
- An invite to a class activity outside of class time
Every time we get together as teachers. I like to celebrate the little ways that you make the Sunday school experience special. And many of you make sure that what you do, creates more than a class – it creates a family.
I love talking with new members who discover such classes and rave about how much they love “their” teacher and “their” class! I just got off the phone with a lady who we just got connected and she was so excited about her teacher and that she even showed up to her work with flowers and a card! (Way to go Brenda!)
What are some little things that you can do in your pursuit of wow to make an impact on folks and help them feel like they’ve found “their people?” Ask God to reveal ideas and ways that you can take people by surprise and get them excited about Sunday school and your class.
In the fourth and final installment, Allan Taylor discusses some of the reasons we fight to create new classes and how to see the impact of Sunday school through new eyes.
Listener Guide – A Franchising Sunday School part 2
In Allan Taylor’s talk, “A Franchising Sunday school”, he explains why it’s so important to birth new classes.
Listener Guide – A Franchising Sunday School part 1
The second part of Allan Taylor’s lesson, “Sunday school as Strategy” takes an intentional approach to answering some of the issues that he brought up in part 1. Through the basic structure of “Reach, Teach and Minister,” Allan shows how Sunday school can be the primary strategy for all that the church hopes to accomplish!
Listener Guide – Sunday School as a Strategy part 2
We had a wonderful training weekend with all of our Sunday school leadership and our special guest, Allan Taylor. Allan gave us some great principles and I wanted to make sure that you could hear them again. Please let any assistant teachers or care group leaders who weren’t able to attend know about this audio so they can benefit from all that Allan had to share. The audio training will be broken into several blocks, so be sure to check back as we add more to the site. In the meantime enjoy Part 1 of Allan’s training – Sunday school as Strategy, “Why Sunday school?”
Listener Guide – Sunday School as a Strategy – Pt 1
Our next biscuit breakfast is February 11 at 8:45am in Gary Thomas’ classroom. Make sure to put this on your calendar and let Missy know your biscuit order.
“I’ve looked at this passage a hundred times, but today it hit me between the eyes as if it was the first time I’ve ever read it!”
Hopefully we’ve all experienced this when reading God’s word. The Holy Spirit draws a truth out at just the right time and when we need it most. This is the concentric learning principal at work. We need to remember as teachers that it’s not our brilliant communication skills that transform lives – it’s God’s word and His Spirit. When we are faithful to bring to our folks what may seem “basic”, “over-taught”, or “old hat,” God can pair His truth with crises, stage of life and other teachable moments to bring about something revolutionary in the lives of our people. When we fall into the trap of clamoring for curriculum that’s “deeper” or scripture that’s more obscure than what we were taught as children, we are putting our eggs in the wrong basket. We do want to prepare, we do want to have solid curriculum, but we want God to work in ways that only He can.
So how do we capitalize on this learning method as teachers?
- Prayerfully prepare – ask God to help you be sensitive and aware of what the people in your class are going through and that you would bring out points that would speak directly to what individuals might need to hear.
- Provide time for conversation (whether virtual through email and Facebook, or in class) – take time to discuss what people are dealing with.
- Put a high value on real world application in your teaching.
Remember that God grows us in stages. Some of that might be due to what we’re going through and some of it might be due to the receptiveness of our heart at the moment. So be expectant in your teaching, knowing that God can take your offering and use it powerfully to impact lives. His word will not return void.
- Keep up with your classes contacts and pass on your reports to us.
- Join us for our biscuit breakfast meeting on January 7 at 8:45am in Gary Thomas’ class room. Email Missy your biscuit order (plain, tenderloin, chicken, or sausage).
- Make sure to join us (and have your care group leaders come as well) at the January 12-13 SS Leadership training with Allan Taylor here at the church. RSVP with Missy.
Today I’m introducing you to a new resource from Lifeway Leadership, 90 Second Leadership. In this short video, Daniel Im explains how churches might approach and implement discipleship in their body. This matrix is one of the concepts in Im’s book, No Silver Bullets. I got to talk with Daniel at a conference I went to last month. I had already begun reading the book and one of my main goals of the conference was to meet him and discuss some huge concepts that he introduces. I look forward to sharing some of those concepts with you!
We certainly want to be an intentional church so we’ll make sure that we’re constantly looking at good ideas without rushing into something that we haven’t prayed about, discussed and contextualized.
If you haven’t seen the article about our “Don’t Break the Chain” in the Christian Index, you can view the online version here. I want to thank you again for all your efforts to make the campaign a huge success and remind you that our Great Commission is never done! Let’s remember the final point of the article and repeat it to our people over and over – “some ideas still work, if the people will.”
November 7-8, 2017
Co-founder of the Bonhoeffer Project and distinguished author, Bill Hull speaks on the state of Bonhoeffer.
(TLW 014) I got the chance to talk with Allan Taylor, Director of Church Education Ministry at LifeWay about the importance of having a holistic view of Sunday school. He shared with me his model that addresses not only the head, but the heart and hands as well.