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Get the whole message to the whole church


I just completed my first ever "Sunday School Revival" and the results were positive. (I am still not sure about the name--it has solid biblical roots but sounds a tad old-fashioned to me.)

The meeting started with me preaching on "Developing a Heart for People who are far from God" on Sunday morning at College Heights Baptist in Plainview TX. I provided notes for other pastors to preach the same sermon in their churches.

The meeting began in earnest on Sunday night and ran for two hours Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Participants were encouraged to share what they learned during the meeting to the Wednesday night crowd at their church. The topics were as follows:

  • Sunday night: using parties to grow classes. Groups that have monthly parties are twice as likely to be growing when compared with those who do not.

  • Monday lunch I shared with pastors about how to encourage groups to grow. This meeting was well-attended--probably because there was free food! Two big ideas: 1) the leader must embody the vision and, 2) whatever gets rewarded gets done.

  • Monday night: the amazing power of doubling groups. A group of 10 that doubles every 18 months can reach 1000 people in 10 years. I share lots of examples--many by video--of classes that are actually doubling. This night included a strong challenge to groups to surrender to Christ as Lord and be willing to divide our groups. It may not be God's calling for every group to divide, but it is God's calling for all of us to be willing to do whatever God asks. The problem in many churches is not that we cannot figure out how to double a class every two years or less; the problem is we are not willing to do so.

  • Tuesday night: doing evangelism as a team.  How to get the whole group working together to grow the group. Groups that have monthly parties AND high involvement in their group are three and a half times more likely to be growing.

Each night with some short, uplifting music. Joe, the Minister of Music at College Heights led each night and did a great job.

I was pleased with the attendance each night. Barry did a great job with promotion and the attendance seemed to hold pretty steady through the meeting.

The benefit of the Sunday School Revival concept, as was explained to me by Kevin Kilbreth (Leon Kilbreth's son). "It gets the whole message to the whole church." As soon as Kevin said that something in me clicked. It occurred to me that I have been giving part of the message on how to grow a Sunday School to part of the church--how much better to get the whole message to the whole church.


If you are considering doing a Sunday School revival, you might be attracted by the logistics as well. Rather than charging a flat fee, I just took a love offering. This seemed fitting in the spirit of a revival.

The fine print is this. I ask the host church to secure 10 churches that are willing to invest $100 each toward expenses. This insures that we will have a good crowd. Jesus taught us that our heart follows our money. If 10 churches are financially invested, 10 pastors will see that they get a group there. If expenses are greater than $1000, the host church agrees to pay whatever that is. If expenses are less than $1000, the remainder is added to the love offering.

Here is what one pastor said about the meeting:

SS Revival...the most practical "take-it-home-and-use-it-now" SS event I have ever
participated in. Our church-wide discussion is scheduled for this Sunday, but one
teacher has jumped the gun and started working on his "party planning personnel"
already. A pastor's dream!

PS: Your conference embodies this favorite quote of mine: "If you want to build a ship,
don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach
them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." Antoine de Saint Exupery.

JD Templeton, pastor
First Baptist Church
P.O. Box
Cotton Center, TX   79021
806/879-2301 office
806/292-3470 cell

You might consider holding a Sunday School Revival in your church or association.




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