35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38 NIV)
One of the biggest challenges I hear from SS Directors when I mention the need to start new classes in their churches is: “Where are we going to get the workers?” Let me suggest some ways to enlist & train new workers:
Always begin and end with prayer. Make prayer a diligent part of finding new workers in two ways-
- The Sunday School Council should pray through their church membership and ask the Lord of the Harvest to impress upon them members with a passion for Bible study, passion for people and a life of integrity. I have been amazed at who God impressed upon me to ask to lead a class. Once I prayed for a person to lead a group of energetic middle school boys. I assumed God would impress upon me one of our young adult men who had similar energy. God gave me a senior adult man. Thankfully I listened and that man help transform these boys as he became a Godly spiritual grandfather. Some of these boys did not have Christian parents, but their lives were transformed. One of those boys is now a Pastor, and another one a Worship Leader in a church.
- Encourage every adult class to pray weekly for their members to consider God calling them to start a new class. Sunday School should be a missionary movement, and persons should be called out and commissioned as missionaries to start new classes.
Encourage every teacher to have an apprentice. As I mentioned in several blogs, every teacher ought to have an apprentice. We are to make disciples according to the Great Commission. Who are you discipling as a potential teacher?
(See my blog “Sunday School and Worker Enlistment” for much more on enlisting workers.)
Find training for your workers. In many professions, it is required to have continuing education. We are sharing Kingdom work through leading Bible studies, and should expect nothing less for us in training every year. There are several options:
Check with your association about setting up a training event and have them contact me.
Check out Ministry Grid for training videos through Lifeway at www.ministrygrid.com.
Come join us every year for the Leadership Gathering the first weekend in May. We still have spaces available for a full weekend or our Saturday only fully age-graded Sunday School training from 9-12:30. Here is the link: http://vbmb.org/events/lg/
Use the apprenticeship training idea mentioned in the blog: “Sunday School and Worker Enlistment.”
Enlisting and training is essential to start new classes and move to a healthier Sunday School. Pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send out new workers.