I am attending Sunday School Week at Ridgecrest. Conferences and worship have been great. Catching up with friends from all over the nation has been fun along with meeting new people. Today I had the privilege of teaching two conferences: Help! I'm a New Sunday School Director and Essential Skills for Effective Sunday School Leaders. Both were well attended. Participation was good. Questions and comments give me such hope about the work God is doing through leaders in churches around our nation.
Eighty-five people from Kentucky are here this weekend from churches from all over: from Hazel to Campbellsville, from Bowling Green to Richmond, from Henderson to Louisville, from Cecilia to Lexington, and more. Tonight I hosted a Kentucky fellowship. I had the opportunity to introduce myself, thank them for their gifts to the Cooperative Program that make my ministry as a Sunday School missionary possible. I shared about this blog, about Super Saturday, and offered to come to their association or church to train workers. I challenged them to pursue five goals (shared in a previous blog entry, 5 Goals for Sunday School Growth This Year). I also challenged them to go home and share Ridgecrest with someone who did not get to come.
While I have been here, I have seen groups gather to play cards, debrief and plan, and eat together. So much benefit happens just from taking a group of Sunday School leaders away from the church to a conference, to look at church facilities, or for a team-building or just fun experience. Often it is more than simply direct learning.
Sometimes it happens on the van, bus, or car ride to or from the experience. Conversation leads to ownership of problems, realities, and needs. Decisions are made. Passion is expressed. People begin to speak a common language and realize they are not the only persons with those thoughts or concerns. Sometimes they get to know one another and recognize affinities they share. Relationships are begun or deepened. Frequently teams grow together on trips.
I want to challenge you to plan some trips together with your Sunday School leaders. Travel together. Learn together. Laugh together. Debrief together. Pray together. Watch as God moves in your midst, as you begin to move forward together. Be revolutionary!