“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 NIV
Sunday School is not the place for a “lone ranger.” Leave it to the movies for the lone ranger hero approach to getting things done. We have a different model to follow. Jesus stated that his followers would do greater things than he did, and the key would be working together as the Spirit leads. Jesus even gave the model of sending the disciples out as a group (Luke 9) and in pairs (Luke 10), but never alone.
So what does this have to do with Sunday School? We need to work together on many fronts. First of all, preschool, children and youth teachers should have an apprentice/helper. With liability issues, safety of minors and lawyers who are ready to sue at any situation, you need more than one adult in the classroom. As a benefit, the apprentice/helper may come up with new ideas for the class and become a teacher for another class in the future. See https://tonystopic.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/worker-enlistment-and-sunday-school/ for ideas on how to make this work.
We need to rely on each other in the local church. I realize weekly workers meetings are a thing of the past due to time constraints, but why not have a quarterly meeting of all Sunday School workers for fellowship, to find out what is working and what needs to change? Your teachers are on the frontlines and needs to know you care. Provide support with appreciation, fellowship and training ideas. Perhaps a video conference training session would work well for your workers who can’t attend through Skype or Google Plus circle of friends.
We need support from other churches in the community. Have a training session with two or three churches in your area. You may discover the same needs or a church may help with ideas to reach new people you have not thought of. In the past smaller churches have worked together for Vacation Bible School. Why not in Sunday School?
You could do a joint Backyard Bible Club (shortened VBS) on Saturdays in an apartment complex or neighborhood for a month and gain new prospects for each church.
We, as Virginia Baptists, have resources to offer. Right now I am currently setting up regional consultants for every age group across the state of Virginia to help with personal consultation and training. Soon we will have the consultant’s names and e-mail addresses on the website to assist you.
On Saturday, March 16th at the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, we will have an intensive training for Sunday School Directors. Click on the link for more details: http://www.vbmb.org/Resources/Sunday-School/Event_Sunday-School-Training.cfm
The Leadership Gathering at Eagle Eyrie on May 4 from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. will be a great place to get age group training. On Saturday, May 4th we will have intensive age group Sunday School, Deacon and Leadership training from some of the best facilitators around. More details will follow on our website: http://www.vbmb.org/default.cfm
It is time to give up on the “lone Ranger” approach for Bible study. Churches will need to work together for kingdom purposes in the future.