In many churches, Sunday School (insert whatever your church calls its Bible teaching ministry) is what has become known as a “Step 2” strategy. These days, attending a worship service is “Step 1,” and moving those persons into a smaller group for Bible study is “Step 2.”
If Sunday School is to be an effective step 2 strategy at your church, here are 12 ways to lift up its importance during your church’s worship service. If you aren’t on your church’s leadership team, send them this post and encourage them to bring Sunday School to the forefront. Don’t assume that people know the next step to take – help them take it by focusing on your church’s small group ministry. Here are 12 ways to do that during the worship service:
- Pray for a class and its teacher each week
- Remind the congregation and its guests of any online group options your church has because of COVID-19
- Interview an individual or a family about the things they enjoy about their Bible study group (do this regularly)
- Schedule a commissioning service where you pray for all of the teachers at the start of a new Sunday School year (usually in August)
- Preach a sermon series on the importance of groups, Bible study, and connecting with one another
- Use the worship bulletin to feature a group and its teacher each week…a short bio on the group leader, where the class meets, the Bible study curriculum used by the group, etc.
- Create a special registration card (or include it in your guest information section of the worship bulletin) in which people can specifically request to be connected to a Bible study group
- If your adult groups use the same curriculum, preview the upcoming sessions to create interest (i.e. “Next week our groups are studying X” or “We’re about to start a six-week study on Y”)
- Preach a sermon series that aligns with the Bible study series used by your adult groups (if the majority teach from the same series) – and encourage guests and unconnected members to participate in a group
- Encourage guests to stay and connect with a Bible study group while they are on campus
- Encourage time-compressed people to attend a Bible study group instead of the worship service. I have served with several pastors who have encouraged people to get involved in a smaller group if they only have one hour to give on Sunday mornings. Pastors know that people are more likely to be around for the long haul if they are in a group.
- If you are the pastor, share a personal testimony of what you are learning in your Bible study group…you can set a great example for others to follow by being in a small group yourself.
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