I am probably being premature in this matter, and I know it is something that is in the near future to be discussed here at Bethel Baptist Church, however after reading Criswell’s view on growth I believe it is essential for us to build a new building.
“Every church building in the country has its own story to tell. Usually, it is a story of men and women who believed in the future and of their victory over those who doubt. The real price of a building built to house the work of Christ is not in dollars and cents, but in the measure of sacrifice taken on lovingly, freely, and faithfully by the people who had a dream.” – W.A. Criswell
Even with us going to two services we are still having full Sunday School Classes. I recently visited these classes and discovered that many of them are full. With that being said when need to consider more classroom space, and that is something we just don’t have. At the same time we need to be training up teachers to lead these classes once a classroom setting is in place. I believe Sunday School is essential to obtaining committed Christians. We must have these small groups in order for relationships to be established, and theology to be taught and implemented. We are only holding ourselves back. We must step out by faith, and it starts with prayer. Be praying for our church growth, and leadership team.
We start our Outreach Program in less than a week, and if we don’t have a place for them to go then we have a problem. God is going to do amazing things through our GROW program. GROW stands for God Rewards Our Works. With that being said even if everyone moves up 3 rows God is going to fill them, and we will still need more space. I think right now it is a crucial time to go to two services, however at the same time without more Sunday School Classes we will never be able to have consistent growth. We fail to realize that Sunday School is a vital part of our church, and it doesn’t have to be Sunday School but some form of small groups. These groups make people accountable, and as a Sunday School teacher we should hold our students accountable for attendance. I’m not saying go to everyone in church that should be in your Sunday School Class and hound them. No, I’m saying those who are active in your class currently encourage them to be consistent in their attendance, and also encourage them to reach out to others. Call your students when they are absent. Once again not to hound them, but to make sure they are ok and to let them know you care about them and missed them.
Another aspect of Sunday School that we fail to realize is that Sunday School is one of the greatest outreach tools we as a church have. If we get our students fired up about Sunday School they will invite others. It is through Sunday School that we should challenge believers to share their faith.
This is a lot to consider. I pray that you think about it, pray about it, and implement it.