Over the years of observing Sunday School leadership, I have seen four main ways to lead Sunday School work. Some Sunday Schools are laissez faire–no one leads. Some Sunday Schools are autocratic–one person calls all the shots. Others coordinate Sunday School work–the team works together. The majority are some mix of the three.
A Sunday School experiencing an emergency may benefit from an autocratic leadership style. A Sunday School with many high-performing leaders may function well from time to time with a laissez faire style. While there is a time and a place for each leadership style, frequently the most effective over the long haul is coordination.
Coordinate Sunday School Work
Too often I have seen great solo work in each age group, but there is no coordination of plans and efforts of the Sunday School as a whole. Sometimes that decision is because solo work can be done more quickly. Sometimes it is because “I want to do things my way.” Too often we accuse others of not understanding our area of work.
But often we lose much when we fail to work together. We give up the benefits of relationships, creativity, ideas, and productivity. Championship pulling horses individually can pull in excess of 8,000 pounds. But when two horses have been trained to pull together, they can pull in excess of 30,000 pounds. The same is true in our Sunday School work when we do it together. We can accomplish more. There is more energy and fun. Effectiveness and productivity often are greater as a result.
There are many ways to coordinate our work, but most involve spending time together. Allow me to throw out a few ideas for your consideration:
- affirm and evaluate events and the year
- talk about the vision
- consider pressing needs
- brainstorm ways to carry out priorities
- plan and carry out events
- start small, focusing on one opportunity
- plan and conduct training.
When you coordinate Sunday School work together, make it fun. Eat together. Share stories. Don’t rush in order to allow time for conversation and relationship. Focus time together to gain the most from the time. Don’t be afraid to divide into age groups for the application portion of the time.
An alternative method could be for representatives of each age group (preschool, children, students, and adults) to come together to coordinate the work. It is essential for the team of representatives to be strongly supportive of plans because they will share the plans with other age group leaders. Conversation is essential at every step.
Are you a solo Sunday School or a championship pulling horse Sunday School team? Take the time to plan and work together. TEAM = Together Everyone Accomplishes More. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!