Wayne Etheridge, Sunday School Leadership Specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, has put together a two-sided handout entitled, The Pastor Leading Sunday School. His entire list is excellent, but because of space, let me comment on three of his sixteen practical actions.
- ATTEND SUNDAY SCHOOL YOURSELF. Wow! Pastor, your example is powerful. If members and guests see that you believe Sunday School is important enough for you to attend, they will be more likely to consider attending Sunday School as well. Attending will also give you illustrations/testimonies to share from the pulpit, when making visits, and when encouraging people needing care or growth. Even a pastor with worship during all hours of Sunday School can find a small group Bible study to attend, with the staff, an accountability group, or a home group through the week.
- PRAY FOR EVERY SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER BY NAME EACH WEEK. Prayer is powerful! God answers our prayers. What do you want God to do in the lives of your teachers and Sunday School leaders? Pray for them personally. Pray for their families. Pray for their classes. Not only will they benefit from your prayers for them, why not pray with them? They will benefit from the reminder of the supernatural nature of their work and help! In addition, praying together strengthens relationships and bonds. Pray for a portion of them every day!
- PERSONALLY ENROLL PEOPLE IN SUNDAY SCHOOL. Wow, again! What an example it is when a pastor enrolls people in Sunday School. There is power in the personal invitation. Some are waiting to be asked. Don’t sell Sunday School short. Help potential Sunday School members to understand the benefits of enrollment and participation. Share the benefits of being discipled, being cared for, serving, and connecting wtih God and others. When they join the church, when they accept Jesus as Savior, you will know your invitation to enroll had additional impact! I know a pastor who would not go home on a Wednesday until he had enrolled at least one person or family in Sunday School. Set an enrollment goal for for yourself and for the Sunday School as a whole and watch as lives are changed (including your own)!
Pastor, attend Sunday School. Pray for your leaders. Enroll people. Be revolutionary!