Sunday School that excels

A new book I am pleased to be a contributor.

I was shocked when the man walked into the room. I expected a man close to the height of Goliath, the shoulder width of Arnold Swarzenegger, and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, yet when I finally came face to face with the man hailed as one of the state’s best volunteer Sunday school directors– he looked NORMAL! Though Bill McCall, volunteer Sunday School Director for New Life Baptist Church in Alexander, Arkansas, is indeed a uniquely gifted and special person, he gives hope that “normal” people can do a fantastic job as a volunteer Sunday School Director!

Can a Sunday school ministry really excel in the absence of a paid staff member leading the educational ministry? A volunteer Sunday School Director may be defined as someone who serves in that capacity as a non-paid/non-professional staff member who volunteers his service to his congregation. That carries two caveats: (1) the congregation relates to and views this person as a non-professional clergy, and (2) he has another job or career that places high demands on his or her time.

The need for high quality Sunday School Directors that can serve in a volunteer capacity cannot be overstated due to the tremendous number of churches whose budgets do not allow for a full-time Minister of Education. The majority of volunteer Sunday School Directors function in churches with dual career pastors and staff, or only one full-time pastor, due to budget limitations. Most of these volunteer leaders must serve without a formal degree in church education. The result is that many churches settle for a warm body to fill this position who may do no more than turn on the coffee pot on Sunday morning and occasionally order literature. A vast majority of churches either have a single staff or bi-vocational pastor with no additional paid ministerial staff. Demands on his time require that some of the delegation of the vital ministry of small groups be assigned to a volunteer. While the pastor plays a key leadership role and cannot effectively delegate the whole of the education ministry to another leader, he must enlist and work side by side with someone to assist with the details of the strategy. The health of the church can be seriously impacted if the pastor fails to understand his role or if the volunteer is not equipped for his or her task in leading the Sunday school ministry. Thus… the great need for thousands of volunteer Sunday School Directors who can serve with knowledge, tools, commitment, and skill.
Steve Parr. (2013). Sunday School that Really Excels.