Friday, August 15, 2008

Is Sunday School Enrollment Important?

This is being a heavy travel month for me helping churches prepare for the launch of their fall ministry plans. I have been in the Alexandria/Pineville, Louisiana area this week and attended a breakfast meeting of Christian Educators yesterday morning in Alexandria. Sean Keith, Sunday School/Discipleship Strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention has been conducting a state-wide tour this week with Bruce Raley from LifeWay strengthening relational networks across the state and promoting a new Church Coaching Strategy now available to help churches in Louisiana grow their Sunday Schools. This new Coaching Strategy sounds great and you should check it out if you are in Louisiana.

The breakfast was a wonderful time of fellowship with the dozen Christian Educators present. I got to see both some old friends as well make a few new ones. Bruce, as usual, did a great job talking about current trends in education ministry and leading in some interactive dialog around several relevant ministry issues.

Toward the end of the time together Bruce raised the question about Sunday School enrollment, asking “What are you guys doing with Sunday School enrollment? Is that important to you and how are you using it?” After a pregnant pause from no response, Bruce briefly moved on to another question and then quickly wrapped up the meeting.

Well, I was about to have a cow!

I chose to interpret the non-response to Bruce’s question about Sunday School enrollment as meaning, “Ok, it’s time to be finished here and leave, so let’s not respond.” I wanted to say something so badly, but knew it wasn’t the time nor my place to do so.

BUT, Sunday School enrollment…is very important!

In the churches where I have served I have always used Sunday School enrollment lists and prospect files as the measure of our ministry possibilities. I always protected enrollment not allowing someone to be dropped unless they had died, moved away, or specifically asked to be removed. I always stressed the importance of adding new people to our membership lists…er, ministry lists. And, I always knew our enrollment to average attendance ratio, knowing that we could increase our average attendance by X by adding Y number of people in enrollment.

YES, Sunday School enrollment…is very important!

Sunday School enrollment is important because it represents PEOPLE! People for whom we have a spiritual responsibility and with whom we have a ministry opportunity!

Read the article Enroll Adults in Sunday School Classes by Richard Dodge and
the article Add a Digit to Your Sunday School Enrollment by David Francis.

Until next time…share the journey and enjoy the ride!

Pat