Day 31-Leader Rewards

Posted by on Aug 31, 2014 in Sunday School | 0 comments

'Leadereship' highlighted in greenMax De Pree wrote, “One becomes a leader by doing the work of a leader.” [“Leadership Jazz,” The Leader’s Companion] Jesus modeled leadership with the disciples. He provided an example for them to follow; he taught them about the mission of the church; and he challenged their presuppositions. Each disciple ultimately assumed a place of leadership in the early church based on his or her talents and strengths. Jesus’ example indicates that the greatest reward of effective leadership is watching followers become leaders.

When teachers accept the leader role, they begin to see their members as more than students. They understand that teaching is creating an experience in which a person changes in some lasting way his knowledge, understanding, attitudes, skills, and values. What a great reward! Lives are changed.

When shepherds accept the leader role, they see their members as more than friends and ministers. These leaders put others first, even above themselves. They overlook the wrinkles and the quirks of a person and love them just as they are. This love transforms their followers into a team of people who are willing to go outside the walls of the classroom to take a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name. And people lives are changed and transformed. What a great reward!

Churches are desperate for teachers to accept their role as shepherds and leaders. These teaching-shepherd-leaders who follow Jesus’ example are focused on accomplishing the task through ready and able followers. These leaders understand that it lifts the organization when members are formed, conformed and transformed into a mighty army for the Lord. What a great reward!

David Francis and Ken Braddy, authors of 3 Roles of a Group Leader, conclude their book with the statement, “The reward is great for the one who guides a group well as a teaching-shepherd-leader.”

Lead in such a way that Jesus will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” The greatest reward of all!





Mark Miller is the Sunday School specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Mark is married, has three beautiful daughters and has been known to enjoy a round of golf occasionally.

Mark also has his own blog at

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Day 30-Leadership Requests

Posted by on Aug 30, 2014 in 31 Days of 3 Roles for Guiding Groups | 0 comments

prayer-room-symbol-braille-sign-sb-0358In the book 3 Roles for Guiding Groups, David Francis shares that, when he served as a church education director, his greatest tool used in identifying potential leaders was PRAYER.  He used to utilize a closet sized room on the third floor of his education building as a prayer/study room.  Contained in that room was simply a desk, chair, church directory, printout of all members, and stacks of index cards with cut-up photos of church members from old directories, newsletters, and new member photo shots.  These simple tools allowed David to take his leadership requests/needs to God and allow him to discern from these lists of names potential leaders whom God may be preparing, through his Holy Spirit, to be used in leadership.

Flash forward to 2014.  This same tool is available to us as leaders.  We serve the same God who still answers the prayers of leaders who seek His guidance in finding where He is working in the hearts and lives of your church members (and potential members).  Our methods have changed with technology advances, but prayer still works.  We may not have a stack of index cards with cutout photos, but we do have membership databases, Twitter™ streams, Facebook™ profiles, and “prayer rooms”.  We have the ability to gain near instant access to libraries of data on the likes and dislikes of nearly everyone who attends our church.  Without going as far as being cyber-stalkers, we can easily make a connection with members of our church and lift them up in prayer, allowing the Holy Spirit to work His way into the heart of these potential leaders.

David shared how, when he asked God to reveal leaders to him, He did!  He ALWAYS did!  Were people always obedient?  Unfortunately no, and sometimes he didn’t discern His will perfectly, but the more time he spent praying, the better he got.

So if you are in a leadership vacuum needing more leaders, let the Holy Spirit know your need and allow Him to work in specific people whom you identify.  Always be open to add names to your prayer list when God brings them to your mind and when you meet them face to face.  God answers prayer, AND we need to be open to SEE those answers when they happen.  We still need to do the work, but our most powerful tool is still PRAYER.




Jason McNair
Strengthening Churches Missionary for Utah Idaho Southern Baptist Convention

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Day 29-Leadership Results

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in 31 Days of 3 Roles for Guiding Groups | 0 comments

number-3Have you ever heard of the writing principle called the “Rule of Three?” According to Wikipedia, the Rule of Three is a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader or audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. From slogans (“Go, fight, win!”) to films, many things are structured in threes. Examples include The Three Stooges, Three Little Pigs, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the Three Musketeers. The Latin phrase, “omne trium perfectum” (everything that comes in threes is perfect, or, every set of three is complete) conveys the same idea as the rule of three.

In Sunday School, the effective leader should expect three results: REACH, RELEASE, REPRODUCE

If your Sunday School class is going to grow and reach new people, it will take all the members being on mission. Encourage your class members to share the names of lost people they know who need to be involved in Bible study. List these names on a poster in the class and pray regularly for them. Celebrate when one comes to know Christ and when they are enrolled in a Bible study class. Challenge your members to enroll at least one person in the class over the next quarter. Lead the class to become missional by finding a need in your community and plan a ministry project to address it.

Sometimes Adult Sunday School classes seem to forget where new leaders for the preschool, children, and student classes come from. They come from Adult Sunday School classes! As your Sunday School grows, you will need many more workers. Rather than be upset about losing class members to serve in these important areas of the church, you should celebrate them as missionaries from your class. Call them Associate Members or Members-in-Service. And make sure to keep them involved in the life of the class by keeping in touch with them and inviting them to all class functions. By doing this, more members will be willing to serve in the church.

Every living thing needs to reproduce. Otherwise it will slowly die away. The same is true for a Sunday School class. If you truly want to grow, then each class must reproduce itself! When is a class ready to reproduce? When the room is too full, when the teacher cannot keep track of all the member’s names, or when your apprentice teacher is ready to lead. Instead of “splitting the class” or “dividing the class”, try “birthing” a new class. Make it as exciting as having a new child or grandchild being born. Enjoy the pregnancy period as you prepare the class, and then celebrate the birth with a party!

Don’t forget…”omne trium perfectum”. Your Sunday School is not complete until these three things are happening in every class – Reach, Release, Reproduce!





Mark Donnell is the Sunday School/Discipleship specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention.

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