Thursday, November 8, 2012

LEADERSHIP: Sunday school attendance dwindling?

2 Timothy 3:14-15
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Sometimes people forget that a religious education is extremely important to keep faith alive and growing.  Sometimes they forget that Christian education is as important to their kid's future as a scholarly education.  If your Sunday school attendance numbers are dwindling you need to remind people about its importance - not guilt them into attending.  How you word things is really important because people have been using guilt to get people to attend for years and frankly, it doesn't work.  Don't guilt - educate!  Here's what I suggest to remind people of the importance of Christian education...

  • Write about it (briefly) in newsletter articles.  The longer the article the less chance they'll read it all.  Research shows that having kids participate in church negatively affects their participation in drugs, alcohol, and sex.  They make smarter decisions because their faith has grown over the years to become a part of their choices.  Worship and Christian education play different roles in faith development.
  • Put short blurbs in the bulletin. If they're sitting there they'll read it to look busy.  A short blurb just needs to be a statement of faith development in children or a reminder of the benefits of Christian education.
  • Make posters about its importance.  Here are some of my wacky examples:
    • Introduce your kids to the Bible. We'll do it here for free!
    • Faith grows when it's fed. Sunday school is a great snack!
    • Your kids can't learn from the Bible if they don't know it!
    • Water helps plants grow, Sunday school helps faith grow!
    • Faith helps your kids face the world's problems. Make it stronger in Sunday school!
    • Is your bucket empty?  Fill it up with the Word in Bible study!
Remember in your articles and blurbs to focus on how faith is developed.  The message is that your child has faith and if you feel it's important for your child to have that faith then it's important for it to be nurtured through Christian education.  People get so busy these days that they sometimes forget how important it is that both they and their children be strengthened in the Word.  Going to church is not the same.  Educate them as to why.

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