When you think about vibrant leadership what image comes to mind? A military figure, sports personality, Hollywood star, government official? How about a hero of the faith, lead pastor or worship leader? Here’s a question…What about you? Do you consider yourself a leader? A vibrant leader? Let’s be clear, I am not talking about charisma, but I am talking about someone who knows where they are going and has the ability to persuade others to come along.
As the book “Countdown” alludes to the seven elements of Transformational Church, Vibrant Leadership is one of those qualities that rose to the top of all the churches surveyed. Each leader saw themselves as someone who knew where they were going but had the capacity to lead from a servant hood perspective. These were leaders who loved sharing Jesus, equipping disciples, getting the church to model Christ and ministering to the community.
So, what does that look like for a Sunday School Leader? To be quite honest…it should look the same! You lead from a humble spirit and yet at the same time you are confident in what you are doing. The class you have been given stewardship over is your class, to lead, serve, care for, minister too, disciple, and send out.
The only way you are going to have an effective Sunday School is if you are an effective leader…a vibrant leader. Remember this, models and administrative structure may change but there are two key principles that should never change under your leadership:
- Open groups practice open enrollment.
- Open groups expect NEW people every week.
I can hear it now…you are saying to yourself, “We are an open group”. Here is a quick test. Ask yourself and your class, “When was the last time you invited someone to your class?” Remember, not to your church, but to your class. Then ask, “when was the last time we actually expected a guest?”
I cannot stress enough that the class will take on the personality of its leader! Remember you have heard it said, “everything rises and falls on leadership.” The same is true for your class, they are going to follow your lead.
A vibrant leader is not afraid to make mistakes. They are not afraid to lead. Work hard at keeping your class an open group. Make it an exciting place for newcomers and regulars members. Be willing to share and send out members from your class to help in other areas. Find an apprentice to invest time and energy into. Always keep this idea of starting new groups in front of your group, and let your class be the first to do it!
Be a vibrant leader!
Dwayne Lee is the associate team leadership to the Bible Teaching/Leadership Resource Group of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.