Top Priorities of a New Sunday School Director

Friday 19th January, 2007
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Are you just getting started in your work as Sunday School director? There is so much to do, how can you decide where to start? Of all that needs to be done, where will you focus? It is important to pray, evaluate the work of the Sunday School, identify needs and dreams, and set priorities before setting goals and planning actions.

While each Sunday School will have unique needs and thus priorities, there are some which will be shared by most, if not all, new Sunday School directors. Consider the following priorities this year:

  • RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. Your relationship with God is more important than what you do. Spend quiet time with Him every day. Read and memorize His Word. Pray. Seek His leadership. Listen and obey. You cannot follow if you are not listening.
  • RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PASTOR. Spend time with your pastor. Ask how to pray for him and do so. Listen to him. Get to know his vision for the church and for Sunday School and share yours. Seek his ideas. Bounce ideas off of him.
  • RELATIONSHIP WITH SUNDAY SCHOOL LEADERSHIP. Get to know your teachers and other leaders--one at a time. Visit in their homes. Find out about their personal and class concerns. Offer them support and help. Ask how you can pray for them and do so. Share your vision for Sunday School.
  • COMMUNICATION. Draw aside (retreat) with your pastor and leaders to pray, evaluate, identify needs and dreams, set priorities and goals, and plan action steps. Set up regular planning meetings. Communicate with the pastor and staff. Share information in print and in person. Plan to overcommunicate.
  • FOCUS ON GROWTH. Pray about people God wants you to reach. Start new classes. Set enrollment, attendance, and contact goals. Check regularly on progress. Affirm progress. Challenge and motivate. Encourage. Adjust as needed. Don't give up.
  • TRAINING. Seek out training opportunities for yourself. Read. Attend conferences. Seek a consultation from your Director of Missions, associational Sunday School director, a respected church leader from the area, state Sunday School director, or from someone else. Provide training opportunities for your Sunday School leaders. Buy them a book and assign chapters to read each month. Ask for an associational Sunday School clinic. Find out when state training is offered. Invite one or more leaders to train your teachers/leaders.
  • ASSISTING IN ENLISTMENT OF GOD-CALLED LEADERS. Lead the nominating team to do more than enlist warm bodies. Pray and seek God-called leaders. Make home visits to potential leaders. Share about the task. Ask them to pray. Seek their response within a week. Expect the Holy Spirit to be at work!
  • ANTICIPATION OF NEEDS. Plan ahead. Watch your space usage. Avoid running out of space. Train potential teachers in advance of starting new classes. Request budget money for training and additional literature needed for growth. Schedule Sunday School events well in advance and prepare for them well. Be proactive.
If you don't have a job description, you might ask your pastor to help you write one. Give your best to God and to service for Him as director. For additional suggestions, check out the articles, Top Ten Priorities of a New Sunday School Leader by Stefanie Ruebell based on a workshop by Clancy Hayes. The year will go fast. Make the most difference you can by pursuing priorities. Plan to be revolutionary!

For more ideas about serving as Sunday School director, check out these blog posts:

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