For the many Sunday Schools who begin their new year in September, June is the time to begin enlistment. To enlist needed leaders effectively, enlistment needs to begin at least three months prior to the new year’s start. What are the steps needed in order to discover and enlist God-called leaders? Consider the following:
1. begin early enough to enlist personally and well
2. begin with a season of prayer (perhaps the entire first nominating team meeting)
3. consider the organizational needs (who will be returning, vacated positions, and new positions being created)
4. put together a list of all potential people who meet church qualifications for service
5. then prayerfully determine the individual who is needed in each position
6. avoid considering backups in case the first choice declines
7. make enlistment visits (not in church hallway)
8. explain the opportunity, expectations, and resources
9. allow time for discussion and answering questions
10. set a time (usually a week) to allow for prayer and check back on a decision
11. follow up, checking on questions and a decision
12. when individuals decline an opportunity for service, begin the process again
What is the key for enlisting “God-called” leaders? Without a doubt, the answer is prayer. Spend time prior to meeting together and during your process in prayer. Seek God and His leadership. Avoid pursuing people based on popularity. Seek more than one nominating team voice. Don’t rush the process. Rushing tends to enlist “warm-bodies” to fill openings. Ask candidates to spend time praying over the opportunity. Investing well can result in big dividends for your Sunday School ministry.
After you have enlisted your leaders (including returning leaders), provide training related to the assigned task and overall Sunday School work. Again, that means you need to begin your enlistment process early enough to have leaders in place prior to your training event. There are many ways to provide training. Check out Creative Ways to Train Sunday School Teachers for 33 ideas about how to train your leaders. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get everyone involved. Make it fun and relevant. Provide food and childcare. Consider providing training more than once every year. This is because you want to train every leader every year, and some will naturally have conflicts.
Give God your best effort in enlisting and training leaders. Seek and train “God-called” leaders. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!