One of the best tools to help a small church grow is already in place in 99% of all churches.  That means much less stress on the folks set in their ways than in bringing in a whole new program.  It also means a minimal outlay of funding which is often an important consideration, especially in churches running less than 50.

  So what is this tool for growth?  Don’t tune me out til you’ve heard what I have to say.  The tool is Sunday school.  I know, I know, you’ve heard this before.  You’ve read how buying this new whatchamacallit will revitalize your Sunday morning educational program and help you grow and super church.  Well, I’m sure those programs are fine and if you can pull them off will indeed help.  But most small churches can’t pull it off—people are too entrenched in their ways.

  But what I’m proposing will work for your congregation.  It’s simple and inexpensive but highly effective.  What you need to do is pick out a group you need to reach.  A great example of this is on Chuck Warnocks page Confessions of a Small Church Pastor in an article titled “Small groups are the building blocks of small churches.”  You can read it at  He relates how his church needed to reach more younger adults so they started a Sunday school class for adults who weren’t elderly.  Over time it brought younger families into his congregation.

  I had the same experience at my second church.  After I had been there over a year, I suggested splitting the adult class into two classes—older and younger.  I explained to the folks that this might help us bring in younger families.  It was a slow go, but over a period of time the class grew and eventually we were able to split that class and have a truly young adult class.

  Your church may need to reach some different group, but the concept is the same.  And it is so much easier to start a new class than to add a completely new program.  And although you may encounter some resistance, it will usually be far less than trying to completely change things up.

  I know that Sunday school is an old program and tweeking it may not be as exciting an idea as some of the new things out there.  But if it works—if it brings people into the kingdom of God, why not go for it?