What Is the Job of the Sunday School Director, Part 1

Thursday 30th October, 2008

There are many members of the target audience for The Sunday School Revolutionary. A few of these include pastors; staff members who relate to preschool, children, youth, and adult Sunday School; Sunday School directors; Sunday School secretaries; age group directors; Sunday School teachers; class officers, including care group leaders, outreach leaders, fellowship leaders, and others; class members; church leaders who support the Sunday School, such as finance/budget committees, building and grounds committees, and others; small group ministry directors; small group facilitators, leaders, and members. Wow, what an important list of church leaders!

One of the groups I just listed is Sunday School directors. There are over 2,100 men and women filling this position in Baptist churches in Kentucky alone. Some work with three or four teachers while others work with hundreds. Each director has an important job to do in the church which impacts the community and the Kingdom.

I have written about the important responsibility of the director before. Check out these blog entries:

Today I read an interesting article by my friend, Josh Hunt. The article is entitled What Is a Sunday School Director to Do? In the article he offers "concrete suggestions on what you can do if you have taken on the role of Sunday School director" whether you are a volunteer or Minister of Education. He begins by suggesting that it is important to decide on "where you want to go." And he has a suggested destination: "help Sunday School teachers grow their groups both spiritually and numerically." That is a great goal and great advice!

Then Josh shares four actions a director needs to take to accomplish the goal of spiritual and numerical growth. I encourage you to read his well-written article whose link is shared in the previous paragraph! In Part 1, allow me to share his the first two of his four actions in all capitals followed by my commentary:

  • TAKE CARE OF THE DETAILS. Help your Sunday School to give God your best! Make a positive impression with every lesson taught and everything done. Strive for excellence. Pursue God-sized goals and tasks! Prioritize the responsibility. Give the role the most time and effort you can. Draw a team around you to make sure you cover all the bases. Lead by serving. Invest in relationships: with God, your pastor/staff, and teachers/workers. Keep your commitments to those you lead. When you make a promise, keep it (whether for a marker, pupil book, or chair)! Be early. Prayerwalk the facility. Budget well. Calendar Sunday School activities. Help your church to see the possibilities as a result of giving God their best!
  • OFFER TRAINING AND SKILL BUILDING. Be an example here. Be a learner. Read. Attend conferences. Learn. Improve your understanding of your job and about Sunday School. When you stop learning, you stop leading. Next, Josh makes a great suggestion: "Get the pastor involved." Josh suggests offering a weekly time of accountability, planning, lesson preview, training, and skill building. But it could be monthly. The pastor invests a few minutes each week but does not have to lead all of the time. In fact, Josh suggests rotating "the teaching among your participating teachers." This will build ownership of the time and allow "everyone to learn more." For many great suggestions of resources to use, check out Josh's article. In general, he suggests focusing on teaching/learning; communicating; balanced Sunday School work (including fellowship, ministry, evangelism, etc.); as well as a foundation of theology "that will enable them to teach everything with greater skill." Josh is clear in emphasizing that "even though the pastor does not teach every week, it is imperative that he be present every week. His ministry of presence in participating will mean the difference between success or failure in this project." As director, it is your job to arrange all of this. Set up the meetings. Personally enlist the pastor and teachers. Call to remind the teacher who is to lead the training each time. Arrange the room.

In Part 2, I will share the final two actions a director needs to take  to help Sunday School teachers grow their groups spiritually and numerically. These two actions are (3) help groups reproduce and (4) encourage, encourage, encourage. What can you do to improve one of the two areas above? What details do you need to carry out better? What training do you need to seek? What training do your teachers and workers need? Where can you start? Pray and ask for God's leadership and help. And take bold steps to lead your Sunday School to grow spiritually and numerically! Be revolutionary!

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