Set High Standards. There’s a principle that is always constant, we usually get what we expect. Sunday School leaders are often enlisted with the understanding that it won’t take too much time and work to do this; anybody could do it.
People are busy and they will and can take on a limited amount of responsibility. Therefore, they want to do something that is worthwhile; not something that just anybody could do. Who wants to be enlisted to a job that’s not all that difficult or important? Research shows that 78% of fastest growing churches have high standards for their leaders and have written standards that leaders agree and adhere to.
I was Sunday School Director of a rather large church in a growing town. When I enlisted my Sunday School Ministry Team I “Opened a Can of P’s” to present my expectations for the team. I began with Passion for Ministry. If the leader didn’t have a sense of passionate calling from God to do the job, then I didn’t want him on the team.
The next requirement was to affirm the Purpose of the Sunday School – To assist the church in accomplishing its mission. If the leader could not affirm the church mission statement, then I knew they would not fit the team. I didn’t always require them to, but they should be willing to sign this statement.
The remaining six statements were not requirements but challenges. I didn’t ask for Perfection, but I did ask if they would be willing to Persue Progress in each of the six Personal challenges.
The S.S. Ministry Team Commitment and Challenges
- Passion for the Ministry
- Purpose Centered Commitment: “I am committed to the mission of the church: Signed: ________________________________________________”
- Personal Challenges: “I will consider the following challenges and will work to Persue Progress in each of them:
- Pray for God’s leadership
- Plan with the S.S. Team (annual planning and monthly coordination)
- Prepare adequately for the ministry
- Prompt – be on time for the ministry (15 minutes before the first person arrives)
- Participate in outreach and evangelism
- Participate in training and equipping for the ministry
Every leader enlisted with these high standards knew what was expected of him/her, and I usually got what I expected.
Phil Stone is the State Sunday School Director for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.