No matter what your position of leadership in the Sunday School, you need to stop periodically to check on how you are doing. This is as true for the Sunday School director as for teacher, and as true for teachers as for outreach leaders, secretaries, care group leaders, greeters, or any other position.
When you stop in these moments, I want to suggest five questions offered by Perry Noble in an entry entitled Five "Gut Check" Questions. Noble's questions in all capitals are each followed by my commentary:
- AM I LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF GOD? Your Sunday School leadership will be a failure if you miss this one. Your leadership should flow out of your daily, growing relationship with God. Your decisions should be based upon time spent listening to God. Don't understand how this works? Then, I would guess you are not spending time regularly with God in Bible study and prayer. You must become faithful to obey what He commands (Matthew 28:20). You must pursue goals that are higher than man-made or committee-decided. I like what Noble said here: "Scripture says in Isaiah 2:22 that we are not to fear man, but the Lord. Pastor–what is it that the Lord is telling you to do that scares you to death because you know “they” will not approve? Listen to the voice of God because…He is Sovereign…they are not!"
- AM I TAKING RISKS? Risk-taking shows you trust God. Humanly speaking, there will be times when what God wants you to do makes no sense. Trust Him. Seek to understand His purposes and plans for you. Your goals will be higher than you can accomplish, but when you trust Him to do what He called you to do, He is always faithful. Too many Sunday School leaders are fearful rather than faithful. Are you taking bold, risky steps following God? If you trust God, it may not seem risky to you because you know God is able! Remember the words of David to Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:45-46a (NIV): "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head." Are you taking risks and pursuing boldly that which is right and that which is God's desire? Are you coming against the situation that appears risky in the name of the Lord?
- AM I UNDERSTANDING HOW BIG GOD IS? God is all-knowing. God is all-powerful. God is everywhere-present. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond anything we can ask or think. Our Savior has called us to be His hands and feet (His body) in the world. His Spirit is with us to empower us. Could your Sunday School leadership be weak because of a lack of faith, because of a lack of understanding how big God is, because of a lack of understanding about the power that is available? The gates of Hell will not prevail against the church. Why doubt? Why be fearful? Believe.
- AM I SURROUNDING MYSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE? We can do more together than we could do separately. God sent us into community on purpose. Together we are a special group of people that God has assembled to carry out His will in our community and world. Look around you at the army of the Lord that He has assembled. When He calls you to a task, look around. Seek God-called people to accomplish His work. This is not a popularity contest. Jesus did not call the most glamorous, intelligent, or religious people to be His disciples. He called common people like you and me. But they, like us, responded to His call. Gather the called and set them loose. As Sunday School leaders, encourage one another. Pray together. Work together. Watch God bless and move!
- AM I GIVING IT MY BEST? God deserves our absolute best--not our leftover energy and effort. Not the time we have left after we have taken care of everything else in our lives. He deserves our best. He deserves our all. As a Sunday School leader, how are you doing here? Are things beginning to slip? Is your preparation lacking? Are you forgetting your quiet time? Are you neglecting to contact members and prospects? How can you get back on track? What do you need to do to give God your best in what He has called you to do for Him? I like Noble's reminder about how God feels about leftovers. He said to "check out Malachi 1:6-14!"