As a teen Scout, I earned the Rifle & Shotgun Shooting merit badge with a near perfect score. There is much to learn about “how” to shoot well. Knowledge and even practice alone, however, do not make perfect shooting. Right practice makes perfect.
According to Dictionary.com, a “marksman” is “a person who is skilled in shooting at a mark.” The definition actually needs a little rewriting or clarification. In reality, a marksman is not a person who is skilled in “shooting at” a mark. Rather, a marksman is a person who is skilled in “hitting” a mark. My Scout experience makes me believe that nearly everyone attempts to be a marksman at some time. Almost every person aims to hit (or accomplish) something.
Combining these two thoughts (right practice and actually hitting the mark), I want to offer some Sunday School reflections:
- READY. Become an expert on Sunday School by reading, conferencing, and observing Sunday School. Ask questions of Sunday School leaders from other churches. Know what you should be aiming for. Get familiar with the target(s). Prepare well. Scouts have a buddy system in play for swimming, shooting, and many activities. This is a helpful practice for Sunday School work. Seek a mentor. Apprentice others. Hold each other accountable to give your best effort. Think and prepare together.
- AIM. You can be prepared and ready to fire, but without aiming you will likely not hit the mark. In fact, someone may get hurt. In rifle shooting, it is essential to get comfortable with your weapon. Appropriate grip, breathing, and sighting are necessary. In a similar way, it is essential to get familiar with Sunday School and to ensure that plans actually lead toward accomplishing your goals. What are you aiming your Sunday School to accomplish? Lessons or changed lives? Mediocrity or revolutionary excellence? Maintenance or leadership? Survival or growth? As needed, adjust your sights in order to ensure you hit the mark.
- FIRE. When you have prepared and aimed your Sunday School work well, fire. Make sure you check your results frequently. Insanity is continuing to do the same things over and over while expecting different results. If efforts are not producing the desired results, make adjustments and go through the three steps again. Don’t just talk about good Sunday School work. Do it. Good intentions need implementation to produce results.
Now, what do you need to read, attend, or learn in order to be a better leader this year? What do you need to need to accomplish this year? Break it into specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals and action plans. Make assignments. Set deadlines. Establish regular times to report on progress and to make adjustments as needed. Fire. Launch the work. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!