Because of the pandemic, I am hearing from many churches that the leadership shortage that was predicted for ten years from now is already here. Facing this reality, we can feel discouraged and depressed. But understand something clearly: God has been a work and is not surprised. He will provide the Sunday School leaders you need.
Praying for the Sunday School Leaders You Need
Jesus was busy doing ministry in the world. In that context, hear these words:
When he saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”Matthew 9:36-38, CSB
During this pandemic, many have wandered away from the church, Sunday School, or class. They have developed the habit of not attending. Breaking that habit may be difficult or impossible. Some of those who have wandered away were teachers and leaders in our Sunday School.
Don’t be “distressed or dejected.” Instead, begin to pray now to the Lord of the harvest. Our job is to pray. Daily at 10:02 AM my alarm sounds to remind me to pray to the Lord of the harvest. The harvest is abundant. Workers are needed in our classes and Sunday Schools because we have too few. What are you doing to pray for workers?
Gather Leaders to Pray for Workers
Help your leaders obey Jesus. Invite them to join you in praying that He will send workers. Set a time. Set a place. Share some of the leadership needs, but focus more on praying than on talking.
And then keep praying together. Lead them to pray with accountability partners. Lead them to pray that God will open their eyes to see the workers He is sending. Ask them, in advance, to be willing to mentor and encourage these new teachers and leaders.
Challenge Them to Be Persistent
Affirm your workers. Encourage them. Point to the potential for the harvest. Remind them of Paul’s word to the Galatians:
Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.Galatians 6:9, CSB
Discouragement and stress can lead us to be overwhelmed and want to quit. The task is huge, but there is hope. When we pray to the Lord of the harvest, He has already been at work. Trust in what He is going to do, but continue to pray expectantly and persistently.
The Harvest Is Abundant
The harvest is beyond the ability of your current leaders. Too much work is needed, and they cannot do it alone. This realization should send leaders to the Lord for His help and the help of those He is sending. Together with Him and them the abundant harvest is achievable.
New leaders are waiting for our prayers and vision to recognize who the Lord is sending. People who dropped out along with the lost and unconnected in our communities await the people in our classes to reach out in care. Leaders are needed to mobilize our classes to pray, care, and reach out.
Will you begin praying today? Will you invite others to join you? The harvest is abundant. Pray for workers for our classes and Sunday Schools. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!