Sunday School groups are supposed to be open groups by design. This means that the group members expect new people to be present weekly; the group is open to new people attending on any given Sunday. Open groups are outwardly focused. It’s part of their DNA. To maximize their potential impact on a guest, open groups do 12 things to communicate their desire for new people to belong to their group. The following list is found on p.60 of Big Results, a book on essential Sunday School work. See how many of these 12 practices your group regularly employs:
- The room is set up with newcomers in mind (the front of the room is opposite the doorway so newcomers don’t accidentally come late and disturb the teaching already taking place).
- Nametags are used consistently.
- Personal Study Guides are available for each guest.
- Every lesson stands alone as a complete and satisfying Bible study experience.
- Prayer is a major part of the group time.
- The group leader and members of the group’s leadership team arrive early, and never arrive after a guest does.
- Guests are engaged in meaningful conversations.
- Guests are introduced to many people in the class.
- The guests are invited to sit with group members in the worship service.
- Guests are invited to lunch.
- Guests are contacted quickly and thanked for their visit.
- Guests are invited to return.
How’d you score your group? 12 of 12? 10 of 12? 6 of 12? Where do you see the need to improve?
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