Sunday School Class TEAMS

Thursday 27th September, 2007

It is officially the fall. It is football season. Teams are meeting each other on the field of "battle." They have practiced their positions. They have been coached to give their best. They have studied their opponents. Now, it is time for the individuals to come together, to play as a team.

The work of the Sunday School is so much more important than what happens on the football field. It has the potential to make an eternal impact on individual lives. One complication for the Sunday School is the common lack of intentional coaching for teachers. Pastors and Sunday School directors should serve as coaches, but frequently they are not asked to lead a winning team but to maintain the status quo.

A second complication is the lack of understanding of the need for teamwork among active team members of the class. Frequently, class members don't know that their time and efforts are needed. They don't know their own gifts, abilities, personalities, and passions. They don't understand the jobs that need to be done. In order for a team to be successful, each member of the team must be working together for a common purpose, to help the team win. That is even more true in Sunday School than it is on the football field.

I want to share a brief overview of one model for teamwork in the Sunday School class. Its source is a document entitled TEAMS which was written by Lawrence Phipps, pastor of Vaughn Forest Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, and by Daniel Edmonds, Director of Sunday School for the Alabama Baptist Convention. The document is from their co-authored book, Growing Sunday School Teams. Their class organizational model is built around the anagram, TEAMS. Here is the brief overview with a few of my own ideas built into the model:

T - Teaching. This team should have a teacher, apprentice teacher, and possibly an assistant teacher. This team is focused upon the teaching experience and undergirding personal and corporate discipleship and spiritual disciplines. An additional focus is upon preparing the class to start a new class.
E - Evangelism.
This team led by an evangelism or outreach leader who leads the class to focus on greeting the class, following up with guests, reaching out to prospects, and enrolling new people.
A - Administration.
This team is focused on prayer and records. The team needs a prayer leader and a secretary. This team may start the class, keep the class on track, and make announcements.
M - Ministry.
This team organizes itself to greet and to meet the needs of members and prospects. Care groups leaders are part of this team. Fellowship activities are planned by the group and led by a fellowship leader on this team.
S - Service.
The service team works to mobilize all class attenders into a place of service in the class, church, community, and Kingdom.

In a small class, an individual may represent one or more of these teams. In a class of ten people, teams may each have two persons or individuals may serve on more than one team. In larger classes, three or more may serve on each team and only on one team.

Your class likely has pieces of the TEAMS model already in place. Which ones are missing or weak? Where does some attention and work need to be focused? What would be the result? As a teacher, coach your TEAMS to win. As a pastor or director, coach your teachers to win. Be revolutionary!

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