This is post two of three.
In the first post, we introduced the picture of a Sunday School class that was led by one person who attempted to take on the responsibilities of leadership by himself. The first “T” of team leadership was simply a Testimony for why this approach is effective. In this post, we’ll look at the next two which begin to describe the leadership team itself.
2. Team: What Positions Make Up Your Team?
How many people should be on your class leadership team and what should they do? One guiding principle that may provide answers to these questions is this: Your purposes define your positions. Your class needs a leader for every part of its ministry that it expects to carry out effectively. Some additional questions may be helpful in knowing what positions to fill on your team:
- What is our church counting on Sunday School to accomplish that is not duplicated in any other area of the church?
- What parts of our class ministry are not the strengths of the current teacher?
- What parts of our class ministry are not as strong as we would like for them to be?
Some classes may begin with three basic areas of ministry: Leaders for Teaching, Reaching, and Caring. Other classes may expand leadership to include positions for prayer, record keeping, fellowship, missions/outreach, ministry care/inreach, and social media. There are even classes with “class coordinators” who have the responsibility of coordinating the work of the ministry team! The principle is, if something is going to happen effectively through the Sunday School then someone has to lead it. Your purposes define your positions.
3. Task: What Do You Want the Team Members to Do?
Once positions are identified and leaders recruited, a clear description of their responsibility is needed. Work with them to expand following components of a clear task:
Explanation: What has this position been created to do? What need is being met through this position? Why have we determined that this position is needed on our leadership team?
Execution: What system or process will we use in order to accomplish this ministry? What are the parameters and procedures that we must respect?
Evaluation: How will we know that the task is being done effectively? What measure will we use?
Include leaders in forming answers to these questions so that everyone will have the opportunity to start from the same understanding of how the shared leadership structure of the Sunday School will work.
David Bond serves as Adult Sunday School Strategist for the Evangelism and Church Growth Team of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.