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Stimulus Sunday swells attendance at Carolina Churchcomment (0)

June 4, 2009

Carolina Baptist Church, Andalusia, always gets a little creative when it comes time for its Sunday School attendance campaigns.

“We usually try to have at least one big push a year,” said Matt Brady, pastor of the Covington Baptist Association church since 2005. “We usually have one in the spring and one in the fall. We try to play off things in the media that are popular at the time.”

One time, it was a fishing tournament theme, complete with bass boat parked in front of the church. It was kind of a cast-your-net type deal. And then there was Homerun Sunday, when everyone could wear jerseys.

“That worked real well,” Brady said before remembering another campaign with a sports theme.

This one centered on March Madness.

Sunday School classes earned points for visitors and other such things, and the class that scored the most points got to cut down a basketball net.

This year, the theme was political and the choice was obvious, Brady said.

“The thing that’s on everybody’s mind right now is the stimulus package,” he said.

So April 26, at least at Carolina Baptist, was Stimulus Sunday, with the slogan of “Stimulate your mind and study the Word. Stimulate your spirit and worship the Savior.”

The church enlisted the Sunday School classes to make its three-pronged approach work.

1. Employ the Unemployed: Contact the people on the Sunday School rolls who aren’t coming. Get them to come.

2. The Bailout: Reach the spiritually bankrupt. Get at least one lost person to come.

3. The Housing Recovery Plan: Find people who aren’t currently attending a church but are saved and have been to church before. Get them to come.

Carolina Baptist averages 160 in Sunday School and its goal was 210.

“We had 209,” Brady said. “But being honest to our pro-life view, we had two expecting mothers so we had 211. If God can count them, we can, too.”

One class, the members of which had been praying and fasting since late March in preparation for the event, doubled its usual attendance.

“We usually have about 16, and we ended up with 33,” said Jimmy Cox, a nearly lifelong member of Carolina Baptist who teaches the adult couples class. “Four people had to go to another class, and one had to stand up. But we were able to share the gospel that day.”

The church was able to do a lot that day, Brady said.

And he’s looking forward to doing it again.

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