(This post should have been yesterday's post. But this is a learning experience.)
I asked Charity, “Do you remember when we would do almost anything to get a crowd in Sunday School?” She said, “Yes.”
From my childhood, in my father’s church, numbers seemed to be important. And in the following years, in different churches, same desire. 1000 in Sunday School was always the goal. I had a dream about being a pastor of a church of 1000.
Going to my first Super Conference in Lynchburg, Virginia, at TRBC, we learned to get a crowd. Dr. Falwell also said, “Saturate your community with every method possible to bring them to church.” Then later we went to the Pastor’s Conference in Hammond, Indiana. A church with over 20,000 in Sunday School and hundreds of buses to bring people to church on Sunday. This was the idea presented to us on a yearly diet of Church Growth.
There was an activity each week to stir the members up to bring visitors each week. “Old Fashioned Sunday”, “Cowboy Sunday”, etc. Then there were the great “Friend Sundays” Some programs would last one month, while others would last three months.
Once while a youth pastor in Connersville, Indiana, we had “Star Wars Sunday.” Now that was a great trick. Our attendance increased 100 in one Sunday. Once I said I would swallow a worm if we had 100 in our Sr High Class.
Once in a church activity we had Max Palmer who at the time was 7'6" tall, and we had a great turnout that day, something like 150 teens. Getting a crowd was always the goal of ministry in those early days.
One of my friends in Ohio, who was youth director, had over 400 teens coming each Sunday. And he really used a lot of activity to get kids to come.
So numbers has always been the objectives of ministry for a long time. “How many did you have in Sunday School today, Charles?”
A pastor friend of mine Lexington, Ky said, “I would rather preach to 1000 anytime then to preach to 50.” And his church for 20 years was next to Churchill Downs in Louisville. He wanted as many cars in the church parking lot as was at Churchill Downs.
I could certainly mention many other occasions that would illustrate the desire to see Big Numbers in Sunday School. Success in ministry was how may were saved, baptized and the attendance in Sunday School.
When I went to FBC in Altoona, Kansas, coming from FBC in Hammond Indiana, from 20,000 in attendance to an average of 17. Where did I go wrong. Had I failed to go to a large town where I should see 1000 in attendance in a few years? What had God done? That is for another post.