How Can We Write Sunday School Job Descriptions?

Monday 28th January, 2013


A revolutionary Sunday School will provide job descriptions for all workers during enlistment. These job descriptions will be reviewed and updated annually.

If you do not currently have job descriptions, where can you start? Don't do it alone! Here is a process I have used that works well to get them written and to create ownership for them. Consider the following steps:

  • Announce a Meeting. Set up a meeting 2 to 4 weeks in advance. Place it on the calendar on a date with no conflicts and enough time to accomplish your agenda.
  • Pray and Prepare. Ask your Sunday School leaders to help you develop job descriptions. Tell them the first place to start is to ask for God's leadership in the process. Ask them after they have prayed to write down 3 or 4 main responsibilities for their position. Allow at least a week prior to the meeting.
  • List. In preparation for the meeting, the pastor and/or Sunday School director write out all the positions for which you need to develop a job description. Do nothing more than list the position. In a larger church, you might divide this responsibility among your age group leaders (division directors).
  • Research. The pastor and/or Sunday School director look at a variety of print and online sources for job descriptions which match your position list. Try to find more than one for each position. Write out bullet points of major tasks for each position.
  • Meet. Ask all leaders to gather for a time of job description writing. If the group is large, you may want to provide more than one meeting so you can invest in each subgroup. Provide light refreshments and materials, including sample job descriptions.
    • Begin in prayer
    • Ask leaders to gather by position (teachers separately from care group leaders, etc.)
    • Ask each group to begin by listing the top 5 or 6 main tasks that their position carries out
    • Ask each group to review the research and your bullets of major tasks
    • Ask each group to write out a job description in some consistent way (for instance, with each duty starting with a verb)
    • Review each group's work so you can ask them questions and vice versa
    • Ask the group for permission for you to wordsmith their job descriptions for consistency
    • When each group has finished, ask them to close in prayer before they leave
    • Within a week after the meeting, provide each leader with a job description. Ask them to review, write down any questions, sign it, and return it.

Avoid the danger of doing all this work alone. While it might save time, you will cut out an important process for input and ownership. Remember that they will be more likely supportive of carrying out tasks in a job description they have helped to write. This can work with the Sunday School as a whole, an age group (like youth), or an individual class.

The pastor and/or Sunday School director will want to set an annual time to review job descriptions. For minor changes, get feedback from one or two leaders in that position. For more major changes, gather the group together (perhaps at a monthly meeting) to have discussion of the additions or changes.

Look for me to share Sunday School leader job descriptions over the next few weeks. Again, please revise and make them fit your church and context!

For more ideas about job descriptions, check out these blog posts:

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