Avoiding the Attitudes that Hinder Ministry Growth
Perhaps nothing communicates what we really feel and believe as much as our attitudes. A man's love for his wife is communicated through attitudes he has toward her. Notice a woman's attitude as she looks over a potential dress for her wardrobe - you can tell if she likes it, even if she doesn't say a word. Sometimes incorrect attitudes can be major hurdles for growing the Sunday School. Here are a few to watch out for.
Growth is impossible
Sometimes people will excuse a plateau in attendance as evidence that we live in the Last Days, or that people just don't care about the Bible any more. If a teacher believes that, it is unlikely he or she will ever be motivated to move forward.
Growth is undesirable
This attitude can occur as people become more inwardly focused, or they want to protect their own turf, so to speak. This attitude might develop because tight space or a class that is too large for the teacher to handle. Many times the Sunday School director can alleviate this attitude by reorganizing the Sunday School into smaller classes or providing the proper teacher/student ratio.
Growth is suspicious
"Well, that class grows because they spend so much time eating doughnuts!" "Yes, they had three people baptized last month, but I don't think they really know the right way to share the gospel." If another class or church is experiencing growth, we should rejoice in what God is doing.
Growth is mystical
True growth in the church is a result of the work of God in our midst. He is the only one who can save. Yet God loves people, no matter what community they live in. He desires salvations to occur regardless of the church. The reality is that God blesses the hard work of His people.
Growth is lucky
"We're not able to grow because of our location." "They're seeing people saved because of a lucky streak." These kinds of thoughts stem from an incorrect attitude. Luck has nothing to do with why a class or church grows.
Growth is an event
Growth is more of a process than an event. If a church is waiting for the next great revival to try to reach people, it is likely to suffer serious decline in morale as well as attendance. Regularly following good spiritual disciplines and proven Sunday School practices is a process that produces an environment for growth.
Growth is a personality
The only personality that really matters is Jesus. Sometimes healthy, growing churches are pastor-less! If we continually wait for the right person to show up and lead us into a growth pattern, we'll likely never get serious about the Great Commission. Christ is in your church and has a desire to see people come to Him. Our giving, our going, and our praying will bring the blessings of God.