Donnie Gamble says applying biblical principles to Sunday School can help a church grow.
He knows. He’s seen it happen at Hermon Baptist Church in Waxhaw where he is pastor.
Gamble introduced his Sunday School leaders to training offered by the Baptist State Convention (BSC) when he came to Hermon in January 2002. Since then, the Sunday School has grown in quantity and quality and the church’s other ministries have taken off as a result.
Church leaders attend training as often as possible. Phil Stone, the BSC’s senior consultant for Sunday School, has come to Union Association several times, said Gamble, who is the association’s Sunday School director and a regional specialist for the BSC.
Prayer is an important part of the church’s Sunday School effort, which Gamble said has a biblical foundation.
“It starts with the spiritual aspects,” he said.
Gamble believes in Stone’s outline of how to build a “REAL” Sunday School ministry through relationships, evangelism, assimilation and life changing Bible study.
“Those are the main points we try to do here at Hermon,” Gamble said.
Since 2002, average Sunday School attendance has more than tripled to 180.
Gamble said the congregation’s “attainable goal” is about 15 percent growth in Sunday School each year.
The church consistently tries to build enrollment.
“To do that, you have to reach people,” Gamble said.
The church encourages its members to build relationships with their friends, co-workers and classmates, and then to invite them to Sunday School.
“If our enrollment grows, our attendance should grow,” he said. “So far it has.”
Gamble said that through the Sunday School, churches already have in place an organization to carry out the Great Commission.
“If you get someone enrolled in Sunday School who’s not a Christian, chances are real high within a year, they’re going to get saved,” he said.
Since Sunday School has started growing the church has had to add a second worship service and recently had to move the two services into its family center for more room, Gamble said. The church’s mission efforts also have increased.
“What this has done, it’s helped our other ministries to grow,” he said.
Gamble said Stone has helped equip Sunday School leaders to carry out their roles. The teachers have job descriptions and know what they are expected to do. Similarly, they know what to expect from the church.
“We give God all the glory,” he said. “Along the way, through these different principles, the Lord has worked through us and Phil (Stone) has been a big part of that.”
Gamble said he believes churches that apply biblical principles to Sunday School can grow.
“I believe it,” he said. “I’ve seen it work.”
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