This spring, I led a conference for planning teams focused on growing the Sunday School. During the training time, one of the Sunday School directors told me she had been enlisted to deliver curriculum and pick up attendance records. She thanked me for helping her to understand the full scope of her work. (I was afraid I was overwhelming her!)
In this two-part series, I began in Part 1 by looking at the relationships and broad scope of the work of the Sunday School director. In Part 2, I will focus on major duties or areas of responsibility. I will not be covering the many Sunday morning duties. For a look at those, check out What Does a Revolutionary Sunday School Director Do on Sunday Morning?.
Part 2 will be more focused upon the director’s leadership toward Sunday School growth and effectiveness. Consider these areas of responsibility:
- MISSION. Lead teachers and workers to understand and pursue the biblical purpose, mission, and vision of Sunday School. This is part of the spiritual preparation for the annual growth retreat and of teacher/worker training.
- DEFINITION. Together with teachers and workers, develop a comprehensive Sunday School strategy statement.
- RETREAT. Plan and conduct an annual Sunday School growth retreat. The planning team in attendance should include the director, pastor, teachers, workers, and general leaders. Steps include spiritual preparation, evaluation, need identification, prioritization, goal-setting, and action planning. Check out Giving Sunday School Direction Through a Planning Retreat. This is essential for consistent impact and growth.
- PASTOR. Develop a strong relationship with the pastor and regularly meet to evaluate and plan Sunday School work. Check out The Pastor Coaching a Winning Sunday School Team.
- ACCOUNTABILITY. Gather the planning team monthly to evaluate progress on annual retreat goals, to make adjustments, and for training and communication. Check out Calendaring Sunday School Growth and Improving Attendance at Monthly Sunday School Workers Meetings.
- ENLIST. Invest in prayerful and personal Sunday School teacher and worker enlistment and care. Seek God-called leaders. Check out Enlist and Train God-Called Sunday School Leaders. Encourage leaders. Keep promises.
- BUDGET. Following your retreat, determine how much money is needed to carry out Sunday School growth plans. Present your requests to your budget/finance team.
- TRAINING. Plan and conduct Sunday School teacher and worker growth training at least twice annually. Make it creative. Check out Creative Ways to Train Sunday School Teachers.
- PRAYER. Set aside time (at least quarterly) to pray for Sunday School.
- ENROLL. Lead classes to pray for, pursue, care for, and enroll new, lost, and unchurched people. Establish and practice good enrollment policies. Check out Using Sunday School Enrollment to Grow, Part 1 and Using Sunday School Enrollment to Grow, Part 2.
- ORGANIZE. Lead classes to enlist workers to carry out growth actions. This includes a secretary, outreach leader, care group leaders, greeters, and others. Check out A Simple Two-Part System for Getting Sunday School Class Ministry Done, Part 2.
- CONTACT. Challenge classes to make weekly contacts (visits, phone, letters/cards, and electronic) with every member and prospect. Lead members to report to ensure accountability and in order to measure progress. Check out Sunday School Contacts Make a Difference!.
- IMPRESSIONS. Enlist and train Sunday School and class greeters to greet and care for guests and members. Register guests. Encourage name tags. Check out Great First Impressions for Sunday School Guests, Part 1 and Great First Impressions for Sunday School Guests, Part 2.
- PROMOTE. Lift up Sunday School by talking about it during worship, establishing special days, and communicating about it with members and the community on a regular basis. Share testimonies. Check out Marketing Your Sunday School Class.
- FELLOWSHIP. Be a champion for monthly class fellowships and projects. Strengthen connections between members through regular times of fun, fellowships, and ministry/mission projects. Invite prospects and guests to begin connections with them. Check out 101 Ways for Sunday School to Be Evangelistic, Part 3 Fellowship.
- APPRENTICE. Expect every Sunday School teacher and worker to apprentice another one every year. This is an important step in discipleship for the leader and the apprentice. It also makes growth more natural. Prepare the apprentice to be launched on their own. Check out Coaching a Successful Sunday School Teacher Apprentice.
- START. Add more Sunday School classes at church and away. Send out the teacher or an apprentice and a seed group of one to five persons to help launch the new class. Identify space. Select and order curriculum. Pray for, care for, invite, and enroll new people. Coach leaders of the new class. Check out Grow Your Sunday School Class by Starting a New Class.
This list is not intended to be comprehensive, but it has many essential leadership actions for the Sunday School director. What would you add to the list? Where do you personally find the greatest challenge of those items on the list? Where do you need to invest more time and energy in the coming months? On which of the items will you commit to improve this year? Give our Lord and His body your best efforts! Make disciples. Lead in Sunday School growth. Be revolutionary!