11 Tips For Sunday School Superintendents
By Rodney L. Pry, P.S.S.S.A. Executive Director
There was a time when the Sunday school superintendent was the most powerful individual within many churches. The Sunday school was the largest organization within the church and, as the head of that group, the superintendent had great importance. But, as Sunday school attendance declined and as separate Sunday school treasuries and organizational structures were integrated into the total church program, the importance of the superintendent declined.
Today, in many Sunday schools, the superintendent does little more than make a few announcements and maybe lead a hymn or have a prayer. Is that all they should be doing? Certainly not! Even if the structure of the Sunday school has changed, the superintendent still has an important role as the leader of the organization. Here are a few things that every Sunday school superintendent should be doing:
Challenge all of the Sunday school teachers to strive for continual growth in personality, training and technique. This should include planning regular teacher training workshops for all workers.
Hold regular teachers’ meetings, where the teachers can be challenged, informed, inspired and make their needs and concerns known.
Select teachers wisely. The superintendent should play a big part in the selection and training of new teachers. He should also be a constant look out for prospective new teachers.
Keep the pastor informed about the work of the Sunday school. As much as possible, the pastor’s knowledge and talents should be utilized within the Christian education program of the church and Sunday school. But remember, don’t expect him to do your work.
Work for your own spiritual growth. Be a conscientious student of the Bible, read religious books and subscribe to church and Christian education publications.
See that accurate records are kept within your Sunday school. Accurate record keeping can single out students who are potential dropouts. And don’t forget to honor those members of your Sunday school who have achieved perfect or near perfect attendance during the year.
Encourage department superintendents and teachers to follow up absentees. A quick phone call or card shows concern and will go a long way to see that absentees don’t become dropouts.
Keep your entire church informed of the work of the Sunday school – its program, its plans and its needs. One idea would be to run a “Sunday school page” in your monthly church newsletter.
Challenge your teachers to prepare their lessons well, to teach the Bible and its message, to continually stress the meaning of stewardship and to lead individuals to Christ and Christian maturity.
Work directly with or as a part of the Christian Education Committee of your church to plan an overall program of Christian education for your church and the primary role of the Sunday school in that plan.
Plan teacher training workshops and programs that will provide all of your teachers and teachers within the different departments the help, information and inspiration that they need to be better and more effective in their work of teaching within the Sunday school.