Why should you plan at least four social activities - outside of the church - per year? This is important, first, because our goal in Sunday school is not simply to present a lesson, but to develop disciples. Discipleship happens in the course of relationships. While relationships can be developed in an hour-long session, activities outside of the class may create stronger bonds of friendship. A second reason for social activities outside of the church is to provide entry-points for unchurched people. While the unchurched person may be reluctant to attend a Sunday service, they may be much more receptive to join you for a barbecue, board games, etc.
This best practice suggested at least four social activities per year. By planning one special activity per quarter, this could be easily accomplished. Special consideration, however, should be taken as to the purpose and promotion of such events.

  • Will your activity be simply for fellowship of believers, or for outreach to unchurched friends?
  • If the former, how can you design the event to encourage deeper fellowship among your class?
  • If the latter, when would be the most appropriate time, in order to give them an easier transition into your class (e.g., a week or two before the next quarter begins, in order to encourage them to start the next study with you)?
  • How should you balance a social activity with promotion of your class?