I mentioned in Part 1 that there are many members of the target audience for The Sunday School Revolutionary: pastors; staff members who relate to preschool, children, youth, and adult Sunday School; Sunday School directors; Sunday School secretaries; age group directors; Sunday School teachers; class officers, including care group leaders, outreach leaders, fellowship leaders, and others; class members; church leaders who support the Sunday School, such as finance/budget committees, building and grounds committees, and other; small group ministry directors; small group facilitators, leaders, and members. Wow, what an important list of church leaders!
One of those groups listed is Sunday School directors. Some work with three or four teachers while others work with hundreds, but each director has an important job to do in the church which impacts the community and the Kingdom. In Part 1, I shared about an interesting article by my friend, Josh Hunt, which is entitled What Is a Sunday School Director to Do? In the article he offers “concrete suggestions on what you can do if you have taken on the role of Sunday School director.” He challenges directors to “help Sunday School teachers grow their groups both spiritually and numerically.” That is a great goal and great advice!
Josh shares four actions a director needs to take to accomplish the goal of spiritual and numerical growth. I encourage you to read his well-written article whose link is shared in the previous paragraph! In Part 1, I shared his the first two of his four actions. In Part 2, I will share the final two actions toward spiritual and numerical growth in all capitals followed by my commentary:
- HELP GROUPS REPRODUCE. You are in charge here. If you don’t pray, prepare, and lead, new groups won’t be started. Gather your leadership and get them to focus on preparing for new groups. Build this into the culture of your classes, especially all the new ones. Challenge your teachers to pray for, prepare, and train an apprentice. Watch the groups and talk to your teachers to check on when groups are ready to send out the teacher or apprentice with a seed group of 1-5 other people (from that class or others). Having an apprentice ready to take over the existing class or to start the new class is key! The existing group will grow more spiritually and numerically if they have a goal to prepare to launch another group! One multiplying class can become scores in a few years when multiplication is built into the DNA of the groups. The new class can take the younger or older half of an age group. They can focus on another curriculum (short-term) that is interesting to or needed by part of the group. Provide potential teacher training on a regular basis. Train all apprentices before they launch new groups so you can get yet another shot at emphasizing the need for them to prepare their group to multiply. Launch new groups with fanfare. Invite the church to pray for and invite people to the new classes. Support and coach new groups and their leaders to success! Spiritual and numerical growth will happen when you help groups multiply!
- ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE. This is so important! An investment of affirmation and encouragement can go a long way to retention of good, already-serving te achers and workers. It takes much more time and energy to train and l aunch replacement leaders. Catch your leaders doing something good, and pat them on the back. Lift up teachers with kind words and prayers in meetings and groups. Keep in touch. Listen. Pray with your leaders individually. These are real people with real-life issues. They need to know you care. They need to know you want to help. Celebrate special days, like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Try calling them on those days–it is even more personal than a card! Notice what is happening in their class and talk to them about what you see–affirm the great things you see them doing. When they are going through stressful times, be present and available. In the same way they invest in their classes, you invest in them as your “class.” Pray. Care. Minister. Support. Lead. Teach. Love. Spiritual and numerical growth will happen when you encourage teachers and workers!
Add these two actions along with the two from Part 1: (1) take care of the details and (2) offer training and skill building. What can you do to improve one of these areas? What details do you need to do your job better? What training as director do you need to seek? What training do your teachers and workers need? What new leaders need to be enlisted? What new spaces need to be prepared? What new classes need to be started? Who and how can you encourage workers? Where can you start? Pray and ask for God’s leadership and help. Then take bold steps to lead your Sunday School to grow spiritually and numerically! Be revolutionary!