Enlisting Adults to Share Leadership Skills

Teamwork is essential for effective Adult Sunday School class leadership. A great teacher or outstanding soul-winner cannot do everything alone. Each class needs gifted, trained and committed leaders who work together to form a team approach.

Teachers become better and more Christlike leaders when they identify and enlist adults to share leadership tasks. God has placed gifted persons in your class both for your help and for you to develop. 

Most likely you will be enlisting members to serve as leaders within your class. People should be enlisted with great care. The enlistment process should communicate the importance of the assignment. Here are some steps to follow when enlisting leaders for adult classes:

  1. Make an appointment for a personal visit.
  2. Explain up front the reason for your visit and what steps led you to each person.
  3. Discuss assignment responsibilities, providing prospective workers with a written list of job responsibilities.
  4. Inform prospective workers about details of assignments, such as term of service, people with whom workers will serve and what is expected of the leader.
  5. Provide materials appropriate to achieve the assignment. Walk through the materials with prospective workers and then leave the materials for review in the days ahead.
  6. Talk honestly about the assignment. Explain that God expects commitment from those who accept leadership opportunities, and you will help the person become effective through leadership training and personal mentoring relationships.
  7. Ask each person to pray with you about opportunities for service. Pray together during enlistment visits and ask potential leaders to pray about the position during the next few days.
  8. Set an appointment for a follow-up visit for an answer. Ask the prospective leader not to respond now during that initial visit.
  9. Make the follow-up visit. Accept the answer and move forward from there. If someone accepts, help the person get started now with personal preparation and study. If you are the person with whom the potential leader will work, provide a copy of appropriate leadership resources as well as curriculum materials that will be needed. Then talk with each worker periodically about the material and help the person get a firm understanding of the content.
  10. Accept refusal as God’s intention if prospective leaders turn you down. Do not try to talk someone into taking a position. Start over by asking God to lead you to someone else and starting the search process again.
  11. Provide potential leaders with a list of training events and opportunities. If resources are available, provide training for the person in state or association training events.

Good leaders become good with a solid foundation. Great leaders find others who can fulfill God’s plan for their lives.  

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Richard E. Dodge is a former editor in Leadership and Adult Publishing, LifeWay Church Resources, in Nashville, Tennessee. He presently serves as Education Consultant for the Georgia Baptist Convention. He and his wife, Joy, are members of Flat Creek Baptist Church, in Oakwood, Georgia.