This post is part one of three.
Heading to Sunday School, I met my teacher walking toward the building. He carried his Bible and lesson notes in one hand and the box of guest cards and other supplies in the other. His wife accompanied him with a tray of homemade cinnamon rolls.
In class, Eddie passed out sign-up sheets for upcoming church events and service opportunities. He distributed the prayer list created from the emails he had collected during the week. He mentioned that he had seen the Johnson’s at the hospital the night before and that they would be going home with their new baby soon. At this point, his wife announced that she was bringing a ham to the Johnson’s house and encouraged others to supply food as well.
Eddie taught his lesson, asked (and answered) a few questions, reminded everyone about the fellowship at his home on Saturday night, and dismissed in prayer. A guest couple was present in the back, but Eddie was too busy filling out the attendance sheet to notice.
Does a similar scenario play out in the Sunday School of your church? Far too often, the pieces of a class ministry fall under the responsibility of one willing but overwhelmed soul. The result is a group that means well but consistently falls short of impacting people for real life change.
Perhaps a better way is to employ a team leadership approach to Sunday School. When more people are involved in real leadership of key ministry areas, Sunday School classes will be in the best position to thrive. For the next three posts, please consider these Six “T’s” of Team Leadership.
1. Testimony: Why Should You Bother With Team Leadership?
Some may immediately object that recruiting even one leader for a Sunday School class is difficult, much less an entire team. But the testimony of shared leadership is that the impact is worth the effort.
First, team leadership is biblical. Passages such as 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 and 1 Peter 4:10 teach us that God has gifted all believers and arranged them to work together for the purpose of serving others. Certainly Sunday School provides a natural environment for developing and using these gifts.
Second, team leadership has proven to be effective. In his book, Make Your Group Grow, Josh Hunt found a direct correlation between the number of leaders in a class and the likelihood that their classes were growing. When you expand your leadership team, you increase the number of people who are intentionally working to make sure your class stays on mission.
Third, team leadership is strategic. In The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, John Maxwell notes that great teams have great depth. When you multiply leaders in your Sunday School ministry, you allow gifted individuals to gain maturity and experience. When the time comes to create new classes, there will be a pool of leaders from which to draw.
In the next post, we’ll look at two more “T’s” of team leadership.
David Bond is the Adult Sunday School Strategist for the Evangelism and Church Growth Team of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.