By Corinn Eckert
A few weeks ago, I was talking to a lady who attends our church. She shared a story about when she and her husband were young parents and new to the area. They were searching for a church and visited the one they ultimately decided to attend (although I am not sure why after hearing the story).
She and her husband walked into the church with their young children and asked about Sunday School classes. The sweet man they spoke to said, “I know where these guys go” and ushered the children to the children’s department. He then proceeded to take the young couple to the Sunday school class he chose for them — one composed of the most elderly people in the congregation.
The lady I was speaking with said it all worked out wonderfully because she and her husband stayed in the class and got to know the people with whom they never would have come into contact otherwise.
But, I think this might be the exception to the rule.
While this story had a wonderful blessing and worked for this couple, I believe it could’ve been handled differently.
Here’s a suggestion:
Have a list of your life groups/faith families/Sunday school classes — whatever the trendy word for this is nowadays — and offer the list to your visitors. Make sure the average age or makeup of the attendees is next to each group’s name. Then, let the visitors make their decision about which to try. Don’t put them into the 90s + class if they are in their mid 30s — or vice versa. For the initial visit, it’s nice to see people to whom you can relate.
How do you present your Sunday School options to visitors?
Corinn Eckert, an Illinois native, is co-owner of Hands and Feet Marketing. Corinn graduated from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, with a bachelor’s degree in missions and a minor in music. She was saved at the age of five and grew up in the Baptist church, where her father and grandfather served as deacons. She spent much of her early life in small Baptist churches and has experienced the ins and outs, ups and downs, blessings and heartaches involved in small-church life. Since college, she has been a member of larger congregations. She has served the local church in many ways — preschool Sunday School teacher, junior high Sunday School teacher, and children’s choir coordinator. Corinn lives in Temple, Texas with her husband Eric and their three sons.