I recently obtained a book I want to recommend to pastors. It is entitled Coaching a Winning Team: Being a Sunday School Pastor. The book was co-authored by Tim Smith who is Team Leader for Sunday School/Open Groups Ministries for the Georgia Baptist Convention and two Georgia Sunday School pastors, Don Hattaway and Mike Stone. This 90-page resource uses the analogy of coaching to communicate the pastor’s leadership of the Sunday School team.
Here are the twelve chapter titles:
- Chapter One: Establishing Your Coaching Philosophy: Why You Should Be a “Sunday School Pastor”
- Chapter Two: Creating a Winning Attitude: Becoming a “Sunday School Church”
- Chapter Three: The Play Book: Understanding the Fundamentals of a Healthy Sunday School
- Chapter Four: Developing a Game Plan: Organizing the Church Through the Sunday School
- Chapter Five: Building and Training Your Team: Enlisting and Training Sunday School Leaders
- Chapter Six: Practice, Practice, Practice: Conducting Successful Workers’ and Teachers’ Meetings
- Chapter Seven: Scouting the Opposing Team: Preparing Your Team for Spiritual Battle
- Chapter Eight: Assigning Players to Their Positions: Grading the Sunday School
- Chapter Nine: Cheering on the Team: Motivating Your Sunday School Team
- Chapter Ten: Dealing with the Monday-Morning Quarterback: Overcoming Criticism
- Chapter Eleven: Watching the Film: Statistics to Guide the Sunday School
- Chapter Twelve: The Reasons, Rewards, and Requirements for Celebrating
You can see from the chapter titles that the book addresses many important issues for the pastor’s leadership of the Sunday School team. I like the reminder in chapter one that “No team ever won the game by simply wanting to win.” Coaching is needed! The same is true for the Sunday School team! In chapter two, we are reminded that the “Pastor must teach his people that winning means a church is obedient to the Great Commission….By emphasizing the principles of a healthy Sunday School, the Pastor can position the church to experience real victory for the kingdom of God.”
Chapter three emphasizes enrollment, assimilation, and ministry. Chapter four states that “The wise Pastor will take time to educate, encourage, and cast a vision for becoming a “Sunday School church.” Chapter five addresses prayerfully enlisting the team and preparing them through training. Chapter six addresses the importance of meeting regularly for leadership meetings to build the team, pray together, evaluate, and stay on target.
Chapter seven addresses ten things that Satan wants Sunday School not to do. Chapter eight is a helpful chapter on establishing an effective age group organization in your Sunday School. Chapter nine focuses on motivation of the team. The chapter reminds us that “Many times the most successful Sunday Schools are the ones that are composed of ordinary believers who are highly motivated to do a great job for the glory of the Lord.”
I chuckled at the statement in chapter ten: “The Pastor who is not unfairly criticized for “talking about Sunday School too much” is probably not talking about Sunday School enough.” Many will find chapter eleven worth the price of the book because of the many helpful Sunday School assessment numbers. I really appreciated the final chapter with its emphasis on celebrating the small victories (steps) as well as the wins.
Coaching a Winning Team: Being a Sunday School Pastor can be ordered from the Georgia Baptist Conv ention (770.936.5285). The cost is $10 plus shipping and handling. You can order the book, and they will send you an invoice from which you can make payment. While the book is an easy-read, it is a resource that pastors will likely find themselves referring to over and over.
Sunday Schools need leadership. They need vision and motivation. Sunday Schools need pastors. Make a difference. Be revolutionary!