Where Can a New Sunday School Director Turn for Help?

Friday 23rd January, 2009

I have written about the responsibilities of the Sunday School director in many previous blog entries. And I have addressed the new Sunday School director in more than a dozen previous posts. But from my experience, there is a turnover of directors somewhere around 1/3 every year. What that means is that I get calls, e-mail, and visits every year by many pastors and directors seeking help for a good, quick launch for the new director.

Here are a few of those posts addressing the Sunday School director and/or the new Sunday School director:

Where can a new director turn for help? Consider these sources (listed in no particular order):
  • GOD. Seek God early and often. Spend time in Bible study and prayer. Pray for His leadership. Pray for the Sunday School as a whole. Pray for teachers, workers, and members. Pray for goals and plans. Pray for problems and solutions. God is the first and best source for help!
  • JOB DESCRIPTION/NOMINATING TEAM. It is difficult to meet expectations that are not communicated. If the church does not have a job description for your position, write one and ask appropriate persons/groups to approve it. Plan to give God your best effort in the job. Plan to exceed expectations. Evaluate your progress by your job description and/or expectations communicated by the nominating team that enlisted you.
  • PASTOR/MINISTER OF EDUCATION. Spend time with the pastor and/or minister of education (if you have one) learning vision, expectations, evaluation of the status of Sunday School, goals, plans, etc. Setting a regular time to meet can be a great benefit. Asking about where to start and resources available can help a new director start faster.
  • PREVIOUS DIRECTOR. When possible, have a cup of coffee or meal with the previous director. Ask for a status report. Ask what he/she did. Keep the conversation as positive and forward-looking as possible. Affirm him/her. Build on previous progress.
  • < strong>DIRECTOR OF ANOTHER CHURCH. This can be a source of ideas/solutions. If possible, make this a m utually beneficial time together. Each of you share about struggles and offer ideas/solutions. Challenge each other to try new things. Hold each other positively accountable. Pray together. Keep confidences.
  • DIRECTOR OF MISSIONS. Since the DOM has frequently had experience in all of the churches in your association, pick his brain for ideas about what a new director should do. Meet together face-to-face the first time. Pick his brain. Then trade phone numbers and e-mail addresses and contact him when you have a question. If he does not have an answer, he probably will know who does.
  • ASSOCIATIONAL SUNDAY SCHOOL DIRECTOR. Ask the DOM who the associational Sunday School director is. This will likely be a pastor, minister of education, or Sunday School director in another church in the association. As with the DOM, meet together face-to-face and then trade contact information and stay in touch. Ask when associational Sunday School training events are being planned. Put them on your calendar and lead your teachers and workers to participate. If space consultation or training is needed, share those needs with the ASSD.
  • STATE SUNDAY SCHOOL DIRECTOR. When you meet with the DOM, ask for the contact information of the state Sunday School director. The state director can be another source of information about resources, training, and more. Frequently the state director works together with DOMs and ASSDs to plan associational and regional training events when requested.
  • TEACHERS. Develop relationships with your teachers and workers. Observe. Pray for them. Evaluate. What needs do you see and hear? How can you help them be even more effective? This information is a great source of help (and work) for the new Sunday School director.
  • BLOGS. Be a reader. There are a growing number of sources of help in blogs (like this one) written by pastors, Sunday School directors, ministers of education, state directors, and others which deal with Sunday School. Like this blog, many have search engines (box in the upper right hand corner of this one) which can help you locate blog posts about topics of need/interest.
  • INTERNET/GOOGLE. Search to find answers for questions, issues, job descriptions, resources, etc. When you find a helpful site, bookmark it. There is a lot on the internet which can help address specific needs.
  • BOOKS. I have listed helpful books previously. Ask your pastor, minister of education, former Sunday School director, ASSD, DOM, and/or state director for recommendations.
  • NATIONAL, ASSOCIATIONAL, STATE, AND NATIONAL TRAINING EVENTS. There are many events where a new Sunday School director can receive training. LifeWay works together with state conventions to offer National Sunday School Director Seminars. Many state conventions offer statewide/regional events like Super Saturday as well as other associational and regional events like the Get Small events and the Launch One Tour. And associations also offer training for pastors/directors as well as teachers workers with adults, youth, children, and preschoolers.
Are you new? I am glad you found this blog entry and are taking steps to grow as a director. Learn as much as you can. Be a continual learner. Don't be overwhelmed. Take things one step at a time. Give God your best. Be revolutionary!

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