Sunday School changed my life! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that statement during my experience teaching children’s classes. A vibrant, exciting Sunday Sunday educates believers by familiarizing them with the Bible record while teaching them how to apply the principles to their lives. As a new superintendent, you have the responsibility of making that vision happen and inspiring teachers along the way. Sounds like a tall order but you can do it! Get good systems in place and let God do the rest.
Fire up the group: Begin with a group meeting, than meet with teachers and helpers individually. Show appreciation for what’s already been accomplished, then talk about how you’ll expand on the vision. This isn’t the time for dealing with known issues like tardiness or discipline problems. Let this initial meeting focus on raising and renewing the standard.
At the individual meetings, give teachers a chance to express their concerns and frustrations in a non-judgmental atmosphere. Help them solve problems or at least commit to looking for answers, together. Don’t allow these one-on-one meetings become a venue for airing grievances or complaining about other teachers. Always turn those conversations around to, “What can YOU do to…?”
- We’ve written a whole article on ways to show appreciation to your Sunday School teachers. Remember, not training & motivating your volunteers sends a strong negative message.
Set some goals: Meeting goals brings people together. God loves unity! Set a goal like perfect attendance for a month or raising attendance by 10%. Don’t set goals that people can’t reach, or can’t believe they will reach. For example, if your goal is to have 100 more children in Sunday School by the end of the year, break that big goal down into monthly goals. You could say, “We want to enroll 10 more new students into our Sunday School this month. Who do we know that would enjoy what we have to offer?” Just saying “We need 100!” doesn’t give the teaching staff a manageable goal.
Establish communication: Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. After the initial excitement, the reality of teaching sets in. You need to stay in touch. The Sunday School superintendent should not be the last to know about a fight, an argument among teachers or missing materials. Call or email your teachers each week. Thank them for their hard work. Be there and they will continue to communicate with you.
- Learn more about the importance of listening to ministry volunteers.
Know the material: Review the material the teachers are using. Does it suit your current needs? Do they complain about it? Do they need more object lessons? Crafts? Games? Assess where you are, educationally, so you can get where you need to be.
Promote Sunday School: That’s personally and corporately. Ask for a mention of Sunday School in the bulletin. Post about it on Facebook. Share the excitement and spread the Word. If you invite, they will come!
- For more help, reader our favorite tactics for getting more kids in Sunday School.
Take advantage of growth: Once you enter a season of growth, take full advantage of the open window. Collect contact information. Send cards, make phone calls. Don’t assume teachers are doing it. Inspect what you expect! Give kids plenty of reasons to come back. Protect the small harvests and you’ll see big results!
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog: Encouragement for Christians.