The 2016 U.S. presidential election was quite a spectacle! During the primaries, the Republicans seemed to get a new candidate every day. Then there was the general election campaign to elect the new President!
You don’t want your process of selecting Sunday school leaders to look like that!
Sunday school leaders should be enlisted not elected. Nominating committees work diligently to enlist volunteers for various positions of leadership in the church. A few Sunday school classes actually elect their teacher. The teacher of these classes often accept the task of teaching, but will they cooperate with church leaders to understand Sunday school as a strategy for growing the church?
Some do. Some don’t. Why? Because they were elected, not enlisted.
The healthiest Sunday schools are led by leaders who are called, gifted and enlisted to serve. The pastor, Sunday school director and nominating committee members identify these leaders, and they are enlisted by the Sunday school director or age-group leader. Churches approve the nominating committee list, but the leaders are enlisted not elected.
Nominating committee members, and others who are enlisting for various positions in the church, have been given the responsibility of assembling a winning team to lead the programs and ministries of the church. Teams have the following characteristics:
— Committed to a common purpose
— Have complementary skills
— Work toward common goals
— Hold themselves mutually accountable
Building a winning team begins with enlisting or recruiting your team properly. Butch Jones would never let Dave Hart, the athletic director at UT, recruit his team. Why? Because a recruit must understand what is required and what is expected to become a Vol. They must be willing to give their all for Tennessee. Championships will be won because of his diligence.
When enlisting volunteers, churches should be just as diligent to explore with the person being enlisted WHAT is required (responsibilities), the WALK that is expected (characteristics) and WHO is on the team.
Proper enlistment is the first step toward developing a winning team.
During the enlistment visit, follow these seven steps:
(1) Explain the process: The people you seek to enlist need to know the kind of process you have used as you made your decision to ask them to serve.
(2) Explain expectations: Sunday school workers need to know what is expected of them. One of the best ways to explain expectations is to provide a job description.
(3) Provide resources: Show the potential worker resources available and leave them with the potential worker for closer inspection.
(4) Provide a list of training opportunities: This is a good time to give the workers a list of training opportunities you that will be available.
(5) Ask them to pray: Don’t ask for a response right away. Give the potential worker a week to pray and think about a response. You have prayed about this matter, now allow them time to pray.
(6) Arrange time for a response: Another home visit is not necessary. Simply arrange a time for a telephone call or brief meeting to receive the response. You may need a relatively private place for the potential worker to ask questions or give you a response.
(7) Follow-up: When the potential worker agrees to serve, your job is not finished.
— Make sure the worker has all the materials needed to do the job.
— Remind workers as training opportunities approach.
— Check with workers the week before their service begins.
— Ask if they have questions or needs.
— Pray for the workers you have enlisted.
Enlistment is hard work, but the results are worth it!
Mark Miller is a Sunday School Specialist with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. To connect with Mark about these and other ideas, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.