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Last Updated October 14, 1999

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Table of Contents

BulletTHE POSSIBILITY BulletTHE SCHEDULE
BulletTHE PLAN BulletTHE ALTERNATE APPROACHES
BulletTHE NEED BulletTHE "WATCH ITs"
BulletTHE BEGINNING BulletTHE ADVANTAGES
BulletTHE ORGANIZATION BulletTHE CHURCHES
BulletTHE LEADERSHIP

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THE TWO SUNDAY
SCHOOL PLAN

THE POSSIBILITY

If we told you that there was an inexpensive way to increase your Sunday School building floor space, relieve overcrowding, provide for growth and conserve energy, would you be interested?

Now we didn't say an EASY way, we said an inexpensive way. However, the effort required to accomplish this should not be appreciably more than the "wheel-spinning" and wasted action evident in many Sunday Schools utilizing their space poorly.

Many Baptist churches have not only solved the space problem, but have insured continued growth through the use of a TWO SUNDAY SCHOOL PLAN.

THE PLAN

Basically, the TWO SUNDAY SCHOOL PLAN is designed for churches that have come to the point where present space for the Bible teaching program on Sunday morning is not adequate for continued growth and good Bible teaching. If not able to build or locate additional space immediately, two or more Sunday Schools can be organized to meet at different times on Sunday morning, utilizing the same facilities.

THE NEED

Churches using this unique plan have similar opportunities, needs and vision. Some of the factors that have prompted their use of two Sunday Schools on Sunday morning are:

1. The church is located in the midst of multitudes of unreached people.

2. The church is reaching a saturation point in utilization of educational space, limiting continued growth.

3. Church leaders realize the imperative of using the Sunday School as the cutting edge of church growth and evangelism and will not allow the lack of new buildings to dull their concern for reaching people.

4. The ACTION enrollment plan and Growth Spiral planning have provided a rapid growth and a desperate need for space for more departments and classes in many churches.

5. The Bus Ministry has brought an influx of children for whom space provisions must be made.

6. The church has first explored all other possibilities to provide space by readjusting classes and departments, checking adjacent buildings and homes, renting or purchasing portable buildings, and making plans to provide new facilities.

7. Other churches, contemplating a move or total remodeling of facilities, may need to consider a Two Sunday School Plan until financial resources are available for a new building.

8. Some churches are now considering the Two Sunday School Plan as a permanent organizational structure to save energy, demonstrate good stewardship and make more money available for programs and missions.

THE BEGINNING

If the above conditions exist, your church may find the Two Sunday School Plan the best way to continue reaching the multitudes until additional space can be provided. From the experience of churches using this plan, certain preparation actions are recommended.

1. Seek the leadership of the Holy Spirit in planning.

2. Survey other churches using two Sunday Schools to gather additional information about the plan. Find out what works best regarding schedules and other details.

3. Begin several months in advance to discuss with the Church Council and other church program leaders the idea and possibility of two Sunday Schools as the answer to the present space problems.

4. According to your church policy, present the plan to your Sunday School Council, deacons and the church for adoption.

5. Begin promoting the concepts to Sunday School leadership and all church members.

6. Use small committees to develop suggested solutions to the problems related to parking, flow of traffic in the building, preschool duplication, facilities and rooms, schedules, leadership and other matters that may arise. Involve other church leaders on these committees.

7. Survey church members to determine which Sunday School they desire to attend. You may need to urge an adequate number of families to enroll in the "new" school to give a strong beginning and insure its success.

8. On the basis of expected attendance enrollment and prospects, determine the organizational structure needed for each school, enlist leadership, assign rooms and facilities.

9. Enroll members in the proper Sunday School and prepare separate and complete records for each School.

10. Be certain "inactive" Sunday School members are enrolled in one of the schools.

11. Transferring pupils from one Sunday School to another should be discouraged. However, provisions should be made for members who wish to change their enrollment to the other school, and for members to be "counted" if they attend the Sunday School in which they are not enrolled.

12. Set the date for the plan to begin; publicize the beginning date and send information to every home explaining rooms, teachers, age divisions and schedules.

13. Notice this proposed schedule used by First Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida:

Proposed Time Table

February 12 Staff review of proposed dual Sunday School
February 14 Proposed dual Sunday School organization printed
February 21 Proposed dual Sunday School organization presented to Church Council
February 21 Proposed dual Sunday School organization plans announced to workers and orientation meeting announced
March 4 Sunday School workers orientation meeting
March 5 Proposed dual Sunday School presented to deacons
March 7 (or 14) Proposed dual Sunday School presented to church
April15 Selection of Sunday School general officers
May 1 Tentative selection/assignment of Sunday School workers
June 1 Adjustment in Sunday School worker assignment
June 10 Proposed dual Sunday School organization printed with letter mailed to all members
June 17 & 24 Members select Sunday School choice in Sunday School
June 28 Member selection of Sunday School (direct mail with return postage envelopes)
July 22-
August 3
Tentative member assignments
August 5 Adjustments in assignments (requests for shifts to late Sunday School!)
August19-
September 6
Assignment processing (final)
September 7 Assignment processing completed
September 8 Sunday School Director's Retreat
September 12 Letter to each member confirming their assignment;
Sunday School workers receive member assignments
September 22 Sunday School Preparation Day (workers)
September 23-
October 6
Sunday School workers contact and visit all members
October 7 Reorganization Sunday
October 28 High Attendance Day (One Way Day) (All the Way in One Day)

THE ORGANIZATION

Each Sunday School should be organized as separate school. Preschool Departments may require special consideration when children may need to remain for two periods. The principles of Sunday School growth should be utilized in determining the number of classes and departments based on enrollment, and prospects for each age group in the school. (See the current Sunday School administration books for proper enrollment ceilings for each age group and organizational guidelines for each age group.)

THE LEADERSHIP

Each school should have a full complement of officers and teachers. Every effort should be made to provide opportunity for all Sunday School leadership to attend a worship service.

In initiating the second Sunday School, it will be necessary to enlist 'additional teachers and officers to secure a proper teacher/pupil ratio. This will increase the growth potential of the Sunday School. (For additional information concerning the enlistment and training of workers, see the current Sunday School administration books.)

Every effort should be made to enlist teachers and officers who are enthusiastically "sold" on the Two Sunday School approach. Special attention should be given to potential leadership training prior to initiation of the second Sunday School

Leadership should be given a choice of schools, just as pupils. However, it may be necessary to ask some leaders (and their families) to transfer to another school to give proper balance and strength. Certainly, consideration should be given to keeping the family together for Sunday School and worship.

Weekly Workers Meetings offer opportunity for joint planning and training. Time should be given for joint and separate departmental 'planning. Cooperative planning by departments of the same age (in different schools) would be necessary. This is especially true with regard to assignment and visitation of prospects.

THE SCHEDULE

Keep the schedule as simple as possible Promote strongly the idea' of families attending Sunday School and worship together. Give careful attention to every detail, such as the flow of traffic in the building and the time required for moving them from Sunday School to worship and vice versa.

The following schedules have been successfully used by various churches conducting two Sunday Schools (listed in order most frequently used):

1. For two Sunday Schools with two worship services alternately (when worship facilities are not needed for Sunday

9:30 a.m. Sunday School and Worship Service

10:45 a.m. Sunday School and Worship Service

  1. For two Sunday Schools with two worship services (when worship facilities are not needed for Sunday School space):

8:30-9:30 a.m. Sunday School*

9:45-10:45 a.m. Worship Service and Sunday School

11:00-12:00 a.m. Worship Service

3. For two Sunday Schools with one worship service (when the worship facilities are also needed for Sunday School space):

8:30- 9:30 a.m. Sunday School

9:45-10:45 a.m. Worship Service

11:00-12:00 a.m. Sunday School

4. For three Sunday Schools with two (or three) worship services:

8:30- 9:30a.m. Sunday School (and Worship Service)

9:45-10:45 a.m. Sunday School and Worship Service

11:00-12:00 a.m. Sunday School and Worship Service

*Note: Wherever possible, Sunday School should be extended to one hour and fifteen minutes.

The number of worship services would be determined by the size of the worship facilities. However, many churches have found that two worship services have met the needs of their people and increased attendance at both worship and Sunday School.

THE ALTERNATE APPROACHES

Some churches have found that a portion of the Sunday School space be used twice on Sunday morning by moving the Youth Sunday School departments to another time (usually during the worship service). This makes these department rooms and classrooms available for use by other age groups (usually Adults). In this case the Youth would worship during the Sunday School hour. See Schedule No.1 above.

The Bus Ministry has produced another alternate approach to dual use of Sunday School space. Some churches provide a separate Sunday School for "bus children." This group would go to a worship service first and then to Sunday School. See Schedule No.1 above.

A few churches have recently begun a Friday night or Saturday fully graded Sunday School and worship to alleviate space and parking problems.

THE "WATCH ITs"

There are certain precautions that ought to be observed when planning and conducting a Two Sunday School Plan. Here are a few of them:

1. Use the Two Sunday School Plan as a response when space needs cannot be provided.

2. Begin carefully, plan thoroughly and proceed lovingly.

3. Begin early enough to enlist and train proper leadership.

4. Make provisions for all members of the family in both Sunday School and worship.

5. Encourage families to worship together if possible.

6. Allow families to choose which Sunday School they will attend, but publicize the "new" Sunday School in order to create a balanced program.

7. Be sure complete information is communicated to all members before the plan is initiated.

8. Make proper plans for preschool children. Many will be involved in both Sunday Schools because they are not taken to a worship service.

9. Build and maintain a spirit of enthusiasm and success. People tend to blame a "new" program for failures that might occur.

10. Assign prospects to both Sunday Schools to maintain a planned outreach effort. Departments of the same age in different Sunday Schools may receive the same prospects 3/4 giving them a choice of time to attend. Cooperative planning in the weekly Workers Meeting will eliminate any duplication of assignment and visitation.

11. Give special attention to youth. It is sometimes difficult for them to attend a separate Sunday School from their friends.

12. Sunday School leadership should be encouraged to keep rooms arid equipment in order for the other group. This is especially true in Preschool and Children's Departments.

13. Opportunities for "uniting the fellowship" of the church should be encouraged. Special emphasis should be given to the evening worship and Wednesday night activities.

14. Care should be taken to give adequate time for Bible study and worship. Do not overcrowd the schedule. Keep the schedule on time. Guard the invitation time of the worship service followed by a Sunday School.

15. Intensive planning and teacher improvement must be maintained through weekly Workers Meetings.

16. Give attention to parking problems, the provision of adequate parking space and the flow of traffic on the parking lot and in the building.

THE ADVANTAGES

1. It increases the educational space.

2. It provides for efficient use of buildings.

3. A church can maintain growth with little additional outlay of money.

4. It helps make finances available for other church program expansion and missions.

5. The church will not need to enter a building program as soon.

6. It offers more service opportunities and utilizes more people.

7. It gives members a choice of time, department and leader-ship.

8. It extends the outreach of the Sunday School.

9. It demonstrates responsible stewardship.

10. It conserves energy.

THE CHURCHES

The following is a list of some of the churches which are presently using or have used the TWO SUNDAY SCHOOL PLAN:

In FLORIDA: First, Pinellas Park; First, Indian Rocks; First, Naples; McGregor, Fort Myers; West Meadows, Jacksonville; Dinsmore, Jacksonville; Gibsonia, Lakeland; First, Orlando; North Central, Gainesville; First, Miami Beach; First, Fort Walton Beach; First, Winter Park.

In OTHER STATES: Tallowood, Houston, Texas; North Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona; Shiloh Terrace, Dallas, Texas; Oak Ridge, Spring, Texas; Cottage Hill, Mobile, Alabama; Castle Hill, San Antonio, Texas.

Prepared by Cecil Roenfeldt, Associate, Sunday School Department, the Florida Baptist Convention

 

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Updated: Thursday, October 14, 1999