Archive for training

Pick up the Training Pace after Enlistment

PaceWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? You asked God to send a leader. You began to look around for the leader God sent. You began observing the life of the leader and spending time with the leader doing life and class ministry together. When you were sure the leader was ready, you asked him/her to join you. When the leader said yes, that is a teachable moment. There is openness to learning and being led. Take advantage of the interest!

WHAT DO I DO? Consider the following:

  • pray for and with the leader,
  • write out a list of the major areas of responsibility,
  • share the list with the leader,
  • work through each item on the list (do them),
  • after carrying out each item on the list, ask questions and debrief the experience,
  • make assignments to the leader, asking him/her to enlist someone to help with each,
  • debrief the assignments, who helped, and how he/she did,
  • listen well, be generous in your affirmation, and offer ideas for next time (when there are areas for improvement),
  • increase the frequency of assignments, and
  • encourage taking initiative to carry out the assigned area of responsibility.

EXAMPLE. For each area of responsibility, the above list will look different. For instance, when training an apprentice teacher, you will focus conversation and practice on teaching, reaching, and caring duties. And you might give them one Sunday per month to teach at first but work toward 3-4 weeks per month before sending them out to teach their own class.

How is Riding a Segway like Moving your Sunday School Forward?

Recently I had the opportunity to use a Segway over a period of several days. Just to refresh your memory, a Segway is a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric personal transporter invented by Dean Kamen. It got its name from the word “segue” meaning “a smooth transition.”  Leaders know leadership will require change, and a good leader wants the change to be “a smooth transition.”

As I rode the Segway, I begin to notice the similarities between ride a Segway and leading a Sunday School. I hope you find these parallels helpful as you leader Sunday School:

  • Put on your helmet – we want to be prepared for success. The Bible encourages us to put on the “full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.” Eph 6:11 (HCSB)
  • Secure experienced help – we want to ride the Segway through smooth transitions. The best way to keep a Sunday School moving forward and running smoothly is to build a team of experienced workers. 
  • Training or coaching is helpful at first – we want to acquire the insight and skill to have a great ride. By attending training or securing a coach you will keep yourself attentive to the needs of your Sunday School and learn to be a better leader. 
  • Have your destination in mind – on a Segway we can get in trouble quickly if you do not know where you are going. What is the destination of your Sunday School? How will you know if you’re getting closer? Will you know when you get there? 
  • Balance is critical – I learned quickly that I could fall off a Segway. Sunday School has a lot of balance issues as well. We find ourselves struggling to balance having enough workers, starting new units, ministering to those we already have and motivating members to witness to others. 
  • Success requires focus – riding a Segway is not a mindless, fun experience. You have to steer the path without falling as you go along an ever-changing landscape. A Sunday School is an ever-changing landscape. Quickly you can lose a teacher or a class can outgrow their space. A clear focus will make the ride smooth. 
  • Trying something new is risky – I was hesitant to try the Segway at first. In fact, it is my nature to be hesitant about something new. In trying the Segway, I had a enjoyable experience I would have missed without taking a risk. Are you missing the great experiences God has in store for you because you are hesitant to take a risk? 

Are you ready for the ride of your life? Lead your Sunday School!