Over the last several blog posts, I have expanded upon a blog post I wrote four years ago entitled Sunday School Growth Spiral. There I shared growth goals from Andy Anderson's book, The Growth Spiral. In Part 7, I will expand upon the quality goal of worker training. Andy referred to teaching units, workers, workers meeting attendance, and training as quality goals.
Quality is essential to Sunday School growth. Having more teaching units and workers adds more care to Sunday School. More care means more quality. It means more life and discipleship impact. Similarly, workers meetings also raise the quality of Sunday School work by making it more effective. Worker training also raises quality by doing what John Maxwell calls raising the lid of leadership. When a leader stops growing, he stops leading. Training helps to challenge leaders to learn, apply, and improve in their Sunday School responsibility.
Andy believed every worker needed training every year. He states, "We cannot grow churches with untrained leadership." Andy recommends a goal of training half of the Sunday School workers each quarter. Ideally that would mean that every worker would attend training at least twice during the year. That also means as the Sunday School continues to grow, each year there should be an increase in numbers trained.
The word, "worker," was chosen intentionally. Training should be provided for all workers and not just the teachers. That means that class secretaries, care group leaders, outreach leaders, and all other workers should be trained as well. In order to accomplish this, Andy recommended that someone be placed in charge of the training. He referred to this person as the director of teaching improvement and training. The important issue is for someone to give leadership in this area, and it is easy for a Sunday School director to get busy and for this important goal to slip off the radar.
There are many ways that Sunday School worker training can be provided. Andy mentioned individual study, large-group study, associational study, and conference center study, concluding each year with a graduation celebration (no, the worker never finishes the need for training, but he/she should be affirmed for good training effort). In addition to these ideas, I encourage you to check out my blog post, Creative Ways to Train Sunday School Teachers, for many more training ideas (which can also be applied to other workers).
Help your teachers and workers understand the importance of training. Raise the expectation. Set goals. Provide excellent training opportunities and resources. Raise the lid of leadership in your Sunday School. Add quality as you grow. Be revolutionary!
While The Growth Spiral, is out of print, you can still find used copies for sale online. The book is worth adding to your Sunday School library for all the practical ideas that run throughout the book! To check out previous posts in this series or more ideas about training, check out these blog posts:
- Foundational Pillars of a Sunday School that Grows, Part 6
- Foundational Pillars of a Sunday School that Grows, Part 5
- Foundational Pillars of a Sunday School that Grows, Part 4
- Foundational Pillars of a Sunday School that Grows, Part 3
- Foundational Pillars of a Sunday School that Grows, Part 2
- Foundational Pillars of a Sunday School that Grows, Part 1
- Calendaring Sunday School Growth
- Free Training Materials for Sunday School Teachers
- How to Sunday School Manual by Wayne Poling
- 5 Goals for Sunday School Growth This Year
- Can You List the Values of Sunday School Teacher/Worker Training?