Note: this post is Part 6 of a series entitled, “Rebuilding the Sunday School/Small Group Ministry in the Local Church.”
As we emerge from the pandemic, it is important for church leaders to reinvest in the Small Group leadership. So, why not take this opportunity to “reboot” and get back to the basics? Use these unusual circumstances to recapture the vision and purpose of Small Group Ministry.
Here are some ways our church has determined to reinvest:
Ongoing Training. We have chosen to train our leaders through a combined Small Group study of our own. Currently, we are walking through Allan Taylor’s “Sunday School Matters” video study. There are twelve sessions, so we come together and watch one video session per month. At the same time, we are also reading Ken Braddy’s book, Breathing Life into the Sunday School, focusing on one chapter per month. Our monthly leader meetings offer great fellowship and discussion of these studies. Find a study/book that meets the needs and challenges your team.
Designate an “Apprentice Day.” Schedule a recurring “Apprentice Day.” On this day, the Adult and Youth Sunday School Teachers hold a breakfast meeting during Sunday School while their apprentices teach the classes. The meeting focuses on organizing classes for ministry and growth, which accomplishes two goals: 1) developing future teachers for a growing ministry and 2) recruiting more class leaders for other roles (i.e. Fellowship, Outreach, Class Secretary, etc.).
Offer Sunday School Teachers’ Roundtable. Hold a Sunday School Teachers’ Roundtable on Wednesday nights (or any other time that suits). One teacher can lead the discussion as others share lesson plans for the upcoming Sunday, discuss the applicable Scriptures and how to encourage class members to live them out in everyday life.
Special Speakers. Engage a Bible scholar or professor for a short term unit to teach the congregation about a specific Bible doctrine, topic, or book. (This might take place on Sunday evenings.) For instance, our church invited a professor from a local college to discuss Creation and The Fall. We made the teaching event available to everyone, but emphasized it to our Sunday School Teachers. Our leadership responded so well, that we plan to do this again, each January.
Offsite Training. Encourage Teachers and other class leaders to attend an outside training event, like Louisiana Baptists’ ”ReGroup Conference” (August 14, McClendon BC, West Monroe). Our leadership will make it a “road trip,” finding somewhere good to eat, after the training, so we can debrief and fellowship. After a day of inspiration and new ideas, leaders will be excited to share.
Provide Needed Resources. Make sure teachers have the resources they need and will use! Find out what your teachers want in order to benefit while teaching their classes. Some will prefer to use Leader Packs with the maps and posters. Others may like a commentary or Quicksource. Once you know the preferences, work to provide those resources. This past year, our church bought each of our teachers the Ultimate Bible Guide. Resource your teachers as much as you can.
These are just a few ways to reinvest in your Small Group Leadership…training, equipping, learning from one another, getting others involved, hearing from experts and scholars, supplying teaching supplements, and gifting books for their personal libraries–all are ways to reinvest in your Bible champions!
Author: Kevin Roberts, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Pineville.