I have probably stood before 50,000 Sunday School teachers challenging them to double every two years or less. I present a simple, proven five-step plan teaching groups to double every two years or less. I have talked to hundreds of Sunday School teachers who have actually done it. Yet, it does not happen everywhere. It doesn’t happen all the time. It doesn’t even happen usually. Why?
I have talked to hundreds of Pastors and Small Group Pastors who want their group to grow and divide, grow and divide, grow and divide. They lay down a pretty good chunk of change to have my wife and I in to train their teachers to grow and divide. In some cases, it works. But, it doesn’t work all the time, or even most of the time. Why?
To find out, I’d invite you to do a little research. Sit in on five average Sunday School classes. Don’t teach; just sit in and observe. Ask yourself these questions:
- Did I hear anything I have never heard before?
- How many times did I look at my watch?
- Was the experience so good I felt compelled to invite a friend?
Here is what I am getting at. The dirty little secret of Sunday School is this: there is a reason a lot of our groups are not growing. And the reason has nothing to do with anything an outreach program is going to fix. Churches are looking for the next great outreach program. They want a new visitation program or a new way to do marketing, or they have me in to teach the hospitality plan.
This is like a company trying to fix a quality problem with marketing. If the food is not any good, spending more money on advertising is not going to help. Ready for some good news? There is an easy solution to this problem.
When I was a Minister of Education, I sought to improve the quality of teaching in the groups in my church. Toward that end, I started writing Good Questions Have Groups Talking. These lesson supplements consisted of about 20 questions designed to stimulate discussion in the group. These lessons had several benefits:
- The turned lecture classes into discussion classes. Discussion classes are inherently more interesting.
- They made it easier to find teachers. If you can read 20 questions, you can lead a small group. That is not exactly true, of course. You have to have some people skills. You have to have some leadership ability. You have to have some biblical background. You have to have some spiritual maturity. But, we have lots of people who have these qualities. With Good Questions they can become teachers.
- They made it easier to reproduce groups. You don’t grow a church by growing the size of each group. You grow a church by growing the number of groups. The future of the church is the multiplication of groups. The biggest problem in starting new groups is finding leaders. Good Questions help us to do that.
I later started publishing these lessons online. Three years ago I added a new innovation: I started providing answers to the questions. Answers in the form of quotes from best-selling authors and top-notch commentators. I have purchased thousands of dollars of books from WordSearch, Logos and for Kindle that I can copy and paste into my lessons. This way, teachers get great insights from people like Max Lucado, Beth Moore, John Maxwell, John MacArthur, and so forth. Your teachers will love these lessons!
What is more important, your students will love that your teachers are using Good Questions. The lectures turn into discussions. The insights are brilliant—brilliant insights written by brilliant writers.