HOW TO PLAN AND CONDUCT MULTIPLE SUNDAY SCHOOLS

Courtesy Baptist General Convention of Texas

Is your church growing and you need to provide more space to reach people and minister to their needs? Do you need to create more units to enhance the growth process in your church? Have you explored all the other possibilities for providing space for increasing your organization? The multiple Sunday School may be your answer. The following material will help you determine the why, what, when and how of multiple Sunday Schools.

WHY HAVE MULTIPLE SUNDAY SCHOOLS?

  1. The church is located in the midst of multitudes of unreached people.
  2. When physical resources are insufficient to accommodate the number of persons participating in one Sunday School.
  3. The church has explored all other possibilities to provide space by readjusting classes and departments, using adjacent buildings or homes, renting or buying portable buildings, or making plans to provide new facilities.
  4. When church leaders realize the imperative of using the Sunday School as the cutting edge of church growth and evangelism and will not allow the lack of new buildings to dull their concern for reaching people.

THE STRATEGY PLANNING PROCESS

  1. Prepare spiritually and seek the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Involve as many people as you can in studying your community needs, your potential for growth, your strengths and weaknesses and dreams for the future.
  3. 12-14 months in advance - Ask the church to take actions to begin multiple Sunday Schools. Involve the Church Council, Sunday School Council, deacons and other church leaders in the preparation and presentation.
  4. 9-12 months in advance - Begin publicizing the move to multiple Sunday Schools. Use weekly church newsletter, Sunday bulletin, Town Hall meeting during evening worship service, age-group worker meetings, and pastoral promotion from the pulpit.
  5. 6-9 months in advance - Prepare a schedule (see below) and tentative organization.
    • Ideally, provide for all age groups in all Sunday School.
    • Classes for special groups may meet during only one of the Schools --single adults, senior adults, youth(in smaller enrollments), etc.
    • Determine number of classes and departments in each schools. Remember, preschool space in not enlarged by going to multiple Sunday Schools. They remain in the same rooms for Sunday School and worship.
  6. 5-6 months in advance - Allocate the space and begin enlisting and training workers. Ask the workers to be flexible concerning the schedule. Try to keep families together in the same Sunday School.
  7. 3-4 months in advance - Conduct a preference survey to determine which Sunday School each family or person prefers. Each person should have three choices: ___ I (or my family) will attend the early Sunday School; _____I (or my family) will attend the late Sunday School; ____To help balance attendance, I (or my family) will attend either Sunday School.
  8. 2 months in advance - complete the enrollment and organization.
  9. Launch Date - Have high attendance day. Realize that some people just will not go along with the change. Others will move from one Sunday School to another. Remain positive and flexible.

WHAT SCHEDULE SHOULD WE USE?

The following schedules have been successfully used by various churches:

9:30 a.m. Sunday School and Worship
10:45 a.m. Sunday School and Worship

8:15 a.m. Sunday School
9:30 a.m. Sunday School and Worship
10:45 a.m. Worship Service

8:30 a.m. Sunday School
9:45 a.m. Worship Service
11:00 a.m. Sunday School

Providing multiple opportunities for Bible Study has allowed churches to continue the growth process until other arrangements were made. Some have adopted the multiple use of space as a permanent arrangement.