I boarded an airplane bound for home and was greeted by an announcement from the pilot who stated that we were going to be delayed while they searched for a co-pilot. A passenger across the aisle from me said, “Why don’t you do it?” I explained that I wasn’t trained or prepared to fly an airplane and would not stay on board if they allowed untrained, unprepared people in the cockpit. None of us would trust our life to a pilot, a doctor, or anyone unprepared to care for us. Wherever we go, we expect that people who serve us will be trained and prepared to do their
best. Why should we expect anything less when we are in Sunday School?
Everyone serving in Sunday School, from greeters, hospitality leaders, fellowship leaders, outreach leaders, care group leaders, to teachers and beyond should be in place ahead of time and be prepared to care for members and guests properly. Lack of preparation can lead to poor teaching, wasted time, a bad first impression on guests, poor communication of events, failure to care for members, and decreased participation.
Steps to ensure preparation by all leaders include proper enlistment, thorough training, clear expectations, and accountability. Often in enlistment we downplay the importance of the position or over-emphasize its simplicity. Statements during enlistment like, “it won’t take too much time,” “just give it a shot” or “there’s not much to it” can cause people to be haphazard in their efforts. In enlisting leaders for any position, one should have a clear description of the job and stress its importance in the overall mission of the Sunday School.
Enlistment should come with the promise of thorough training and clear expectations. When I was in management for United Parcel Service, I learned why the company was so successful: employees were thoroughly trained for their position and all expectations were clearly defined. The company made sure the employees knew their jobs and did them to acceptable standards. There was no doubt of what was desired and how important it was for everyone to do their job correctly. If it is a ministry worth doing, then people should know how to do the work and the anticipated results.
Leaders cannot be held accountable unless they are properly enlisted, trained, and given clear expectations. If these steps are taken, accountability will not be resented. In fact, accountability will spotlight the importance of the ministry and highlight the work of the leader.
If you take the proper steps, you can expect leaders to be prepared and the mission of Sunday School to be strengthened.