Your ability to “Enlarge the Organization,” is contingent on your capacity to expand the leadership base. Jerri Herring and Larry Garner in their book, Five Handles for Getting a Grip on Your Sunday School, state “Leadership is the crucial element. The number of leaders must advance ahead of growing membership and organization.” Leaders are the key for healthy, new groups.
A commitment to start new groups is a commitment to discover and disciple new leaders. In fact, the firm commitment to add new groups (a goal with a deadline) becomes the catalyst to developing new leaders. Too many churches start new groups when they can “find new leadership.” As a result, they do not start many new groups. Healthy churches build an ongoing strategy, à la Arthur Flake, to “enlist and train leaders” because they understand “enlarging the organization” as a biblical, kingdom imperative.
Not only is the quantity of leaders important, but so is the quality of the leader. I remember being in a conference where the leader challenged us to multiply all of our leaders. Sadly, most churches have ‘leaders’ that they don’t want or need to multiply. For example, I have been asked, “What do you do with a teacher who want attend training, tithe, attend worship, and so forth?” My response was, “if those are responsibilities/characteristics of a teacher and you have someone who will not fulfill/exemplify them, then that person is not a teacher.”
Since leaders are the key for new groups, a standard must be kept by all leaders to ensure the continual development of high-quality, new leaders. Herring and Garner in their book site one of the great Sunday School leaders of recent days, Harry Piland, as he revealed “10 Essentials for Excellence” from the Apostle Paul on leadership: The excellent leader:
- Makes himself/herself available to God (2 Timothy 2:15a).
- Is one who is excellent in example (1 Timothy 4:12).
- Focuses upon reaching others for Christ (2 Timothy 2:2).
- Majors upon quality in teaching (2 Timothy 2:15b).
- Will minister with a loving, caring heart (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
- Prays sincerely and fervently with a believing heart (1 Timothy 2:1, 8).
- Faithfully does the fundamentals with a flair (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
- Has a clear vision of God’s will and purpose (2 Timothy 1:6-12).
- Is willing to change – always has a degree of flexibility (2 Timothy 1:13; 3:14-17).
- Never gives up – perseveres no matter what (2 Timothy 4:7).
For more information on emerging class leaders visit: http://www.sundayschoolleader.com/characteristics-of-an-emerging-class/
To order Five Handles for Getting a Grip on Your Sunday School by Herring and Garner visit http://cmdpub.com
Daniel Edmonds is a State Missionary for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.