Pastors are busy people. The majority of them are bivocational. Schedules are full. Priorities are hard to balance. Pastors are pulled in so many different directions by so many people in the church and community. They also have family and personal needs which demand attention.
That is why so many have abdicated responsibility for and involvement in Sunday School. It is not that pastors believe Sunday School is unimportant. It has just not been a high enough priority to demand time and attention. In fact, yesterday I consulted with a pastor who asked me to help him thinking through launching a small group ministry. He was thinking through stopping Sunday School completely. In the process of our time together, he realized why Sunday School was in the shape it was. Since the last Sunday School director resigned 18 months ago, no one has been leading Sunday School. In fact, he realized that the problem was that he was not leading it.
Pastor, what if I could suggest a small investment of time each week that would help reduce your other load? What if you could strengthen your assimilation and outreach; support the discipling efforts; keep leaders from quitting; and mobilize others to minister to people in need? ? What if you were able to accomplish these essential tasks and even more in only 1-2 hours each week? Would you schedule that appointment?
Here's how it can be done to produce that fruit and more: (1) enlist and regularly meet with a Sunday School director or (2) if the absence of a director invest time personally every week in the Sunday School. When you have a director, your time spent helping him/her focus Sunday School efforts is valuable. Check on progress and make plans together. Your one-hour weekly meeting can produce hours of impact as the director carries out the work.
Other ways you can invest another hour of your time and leadership in Sunday School that can have significant impact:
- personally invite people to and enroll people in Sunday School
- your example is powerful, so attend or teach a class (check out When Pastors Attend Sunday School/Small Groups, It Is Contagious!)
- emphasize Sunday School in your preaching and through pulpit announcements (check out Pulpit Sunday School Promotion)
- plan Sunday School testimonies to be shared during worship (check out Sunday School Testimony: Powerful Revolutionary Tool)
- spend time with different teachers each week
- pray for teachers and classes by name (check out Pastor as Revolutionary: Leading the Sunday School by Word and Example)
- coach your teachers (check out Three Great Coaching Questions for Pastors and Sunday School Directors)
- lead the church to provide needed Sunday School financial resources, equipment, supplies, and space
- schedule/plan a Sunday School leader planning retreat (check out Evaluate the Past Year Before You Set New Sunday School Goals and Giving Sunday School Direction Through a Planning Retreat)
- schedule/plan Sunday School teacher and worker training events (check out Creative Ways to Train Sunday School Teachers)
- lead the Sunday School to be organized to reach, teach, and care (check out Steps for the Pastor’s Leadership of the Sunday School)
- encourage teachers and classes to be evangelistic (check out Ways Sunday School Can Help Increase Baptisms)
- hold teachers and classes accountable to enlist greeters and care group leaders (check out A Simple Two-Part System for Getting Sunday School Class Ministry Done, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
- lead Sunday School teachers and workers to raise expectations (check out Raising Sunday School Expectations without Losing Your Hair and Steps for the Pastor’s Leadership of the Sunday School)
- lead classes, teachers, and Sunday School as a whole to set and pursue goals (check out 5 Goals for Sunday School Growth This Year, Part 1, 5 Goals for Sunday School Growth This Year, Part 2, How LARGE Should We Make Our Sunday School Goals?, and Set God-Sized Goals for Sunday School Growth)