Insight: Where churches use my Sunday School Lessons, I always get a good crowd at training events. Familiarity is the key to getting a crowd.
It is not uncommon for me to conduct a training meeting where there are two or three hundred eager participants—most of who never heard of me before about two weeks earlier. They are not coming because they know me or my message or my dream. They are coming because someone they respect told them to come. There was a trusted DOM who told a faithful pastor that this would be good. The faithful pastor told his people and the people follow.
It all comes down to leadership, doesn’t it? When I hear a DOM say, “People don’t come to training anymore.” I hear, “I am not leading these people; they are not following.”
I think of a DOM in East Texas, Randel Trull. I have been with Randel a half dozen times or so. We have an All Star Sunday School Training meeting with him in September. Randel always gets a good crowd. He has a long history of bringing quality events to his association and people know if he puts something on it will be good.
Leadership is mostly about loving people. People follow leaders when they know the leader loves them. Love is spelled TIME. When the leader hangs out with the pastor and loves him and pays attention to him and remembers his birthday and helps him through the rough waters, the pastor follows. Leadership is relational. It is not just about writing vision statements and making plans and setting budgets and organizing calendars. It is about knowing and being known. It is personal. Leadership is always personal.
I love John Maxwell’s famous maxim, “If you think you lead and no one is following, you are only just taking a walk.”
Well, what if everyone is not following, what are you to do? There is an answer.
Get a team to help plan Sunday School training
If one leader is good, two are better. Half a dozen is even better. I recommend putting a planning team together to help promote the event. Give everyone a job. Have one person in charge of ethnic churches. Someone else in charge of small churches. Someone else in charge of email. Still another person in charge of social networking. Meet once a month. Serve burgers. Brainstorm. Pray. Get them fired up.