Main Street Education Ministry Transition #4
Limit the Breakout Classes on Sunday Morning
There is one basic philosophy given by all Christian Education gurus (professors, authors and the like) to young, impressionable Education ministers and Sunday School leaders. The philosophy is this:
Pay attention Grasshopper…To grow a Sunday School program, you need three things.
1. More Space.
2. More Classes.
3. More Teachers.
This philosophy was passed onto me in seminary and thus when I came to Main Street back in 2004, I adhered to this philosophy is setting about to help Main Street’s education ministry grow.
So how are we doing? Well, we got more space with the relocation. We got a lot more space! Point one–in the bag. Point two: more classes…we got as well. We have started nearly 50 Breakout classes on topics ranging from the Beverly Hillbillies to Spiritual Disciplines to Heaven to Roman Catholicism to Parenting to Getting Out of Debt. You name it, we have tried it (all under the guidelines of Scripture, of course). Point three: more teachers…the Farm Club has answered that need.
But back to point two: More classes. The Breakouts were the solution, but they have not had the long-term effects we had hoped for.
For the most part, the Breakout classes have been topical, short-term (6 to 8 weeks), and taught by teachers who are not teaching on-going classes (there have a been a few pull double duty). Every person was new to the class which made inviting other new people easy and fun. Everyone chose to be there and was excited about the topic. And everyone had to learn names. It was like the first day of school or college each time a new Breakout class began.
The HOPE and PURPOSE of the Breakouts was that a class would start and get people into the habit of coming regularly to Bible study. And when the Breakout had finished, they would automatically transition into an on-going Sunday morning class. For a small percentage, that is exactly what happened. They got connected to people and to the habit of coming to Bible study and once the Breakout was done, they found a class they could join.
But for the large majority, when the Breakout was finished, so were they. They didn’t transition into an on-going class. There was no class-shopping taking place or invitations from existing classes to come join them. They simply faded back out.
SO…We are going to LIMIT the BREAKOUT classes on Sunday for a while.
We think that if we limit the offerings, we can push our on-going classes more intentionally. We are going to invest heavily in those classes and encourage them to open up their arms to new people. We are going to challenge our congregation to attend these classes with gusto and energy.
We are going to start ONE new class in September.
This is not a Breakout, but a year-long class. It is called “MARRIAGE BUILDERS” taught by Dr. Mike and Laura Kalfas. Bascially, it is a marriage enrichment class on steriods. Every 8 weeks or so, the class will begin another topic which will enhance their marriage. Topics such as: romance and intimacy, communication, finances, the 5 love languages, and parenting.
The class will meet in the second hour (11 am) in 1 Central Ave. More information will come in August. If you know a couple that wants to have a great group experience that encourages their marriage, invite them to Marriage Builders.
But other than that, we will be only offer our on-going Bible study classes on Sunday morning for a lengthy period of time. Let’s help them grow to their fullest.