This is post three of three.
Sunday School classes can thrive when more people are involved in leading the charge. In this brief series, we have examined the following “T’s” of Team Leadership.
1. Testimony – Why should you bother with Team Leadership?
2. Team – What positions should make up your team?
3. Task – What do you want the members of your team to do?
In this post, we will suggest the final three components of an effective team leadership strategy.
4. Title: Who Will Be in Charge of this Ministry Area?
Few things are more discouraging then to be given a responsibility but not the freedom to fulfill it. The following keys provide ways to ensure that those who are recruited can really take the lead in their area.
First, clearly Designate them as the leader. Include listings of ministry leaders just as you would the teacher of the class.
Direct all aspects of their ministry area to them. When someone asks a question, direct them to contact the appropriate person. This is especially important in the early implementationof a team leadership structure.
Defer to the leader’s creativity and unique spin on their ministry. Once you have all agreed to the procedures and parameters of the task, back off and let them lead and learn. If the leader goes outside of the agreed upon boundaries, that is an appropriate time to make corrections.
5. Time: When Will This Ministry Take Place?
One obvious by-product of a shared leadership system in Sunday School is that there will need to be time designated for each of the ministries to do their job. The following ideas will help in this regard.
- Start on time and maximize the hour. Every minute is precious and needed for ministry.
- Learn who needs class time every week and who does not. Obviously, teachers will take a good portion of the time for Bible study. Prayer, Ministry Care, and Outreach leaders will also likely need a consistent time slot. Leaders in other areas such as missions, ministry/service projects, and fellowship may not have new contributions every week. Communication and planning will be the key to maximizing the Sunday School hour.
- Encourage creativity and the use of multiple delivery methods. No one enjoys a class that becomes a parade of announcement-makers. Social media provides another way for leaders to communicate with class members.
6. Tools: What Do Leaders Need in Order to Do Their Job?
Finally, leaders must be given the resources necessary in order for them to carry out their work. An annual meeting of all Sunday School leadership may be necessary in order to share the vision for team leadership. After this, ministry area leaders should meet together periodically for specific training, reporting, and evaluation. Outside of formal meeting times, leaders can share articles, websites, blogs, print materials and other sources of helpful information.
Team leadership is effective and results in classes that stay on mission and leaders who are confident and excited about their role.
David Bond serves as Adult Sunday School Strategist for the Evangelism and Church Growth Team of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.