This is the second in a series of posts to help you prepare your staff, volunteers, classroom, and parents for fall Sunday School.
Jan Golias has served as Team Leader in a Sunday School classroom for over 15 years. We asked her a few questions about the role of Team Leader and her experience in the classroom.
Q: Jan, how would you describe your role as a Team Leader?
A: As a team leader in a first grade Sunday school class, I focus on showing Christ’s love to my team. (My team consists of two teachers (co-teaching the lessons), one worship leader, seven small group leaders, and two helpers, all of whom work together to serve a class of 30-35 first graders.)
I also encourage the team to show Christ to the children in our class as they lead worship, teach the lesson or lead a small group discussion. We use The ABCs of God curriculum which teaches the children to ask "Who is God?", "What is God like?" and "How should I act towards God?" as they learn an attribute of God for each letter of the alphabet (i.e., A is for Almighty, B is for Bountiful, C is for Creator, etc.).
During the week, I communicate the plan for Sunday to my team, organize and prepare the classroom so it is ready when they arrive on Sunday morning, decorate the room with signs and pictures to remind the children of the attributes they are learning, arrange substitute teachers/small group leaders when needed and most importantly, pray for both my team and the children in my class throughout the week.
On Sunday mornings, I fill a number of roles:
I also look for opportunities to help my team get to know one other, pray for each other and encourage one other both on Sundays and outside the classroom.
Q: What do you consider the best part of being a Team Leader?
There are so many things I love about being a team leader. Here are a few highlights:
- I love working together with my team and helping them to serve effectively in their respective roles on Sunday morning. I also enjoy finding ways to serve them outside of the classroom.
- It is a joy to hear the teacher teach and watch the kids as they listen, understand and respond to the truths being taught. Big truths like "God is incomprehensible, he is more than we can fully understand".
- It is wonderful to worship God alongside first graders who sing “big church” songs with their whole hearts. One year I had a boy who most would call rambunctious (to put it mildly), but when we started singing he would close his eyes and truly worship.
- I am so encouraged when I listen to children recite memory verses. There was a boy in my class with some disabilities. He would not always get the words perfect but he loved to memorize Scripture and he was always a willing volunteer to recite verses in class.
- I enjoy helping first graders memorize the books of the Bible. What a joy it is to have a child or even a group of 15 children come up to the front of the class to be prayed for and receive a prize after saying either the Old or New Testament books.
- I love seeing former students around church, saying hi and giving them a hug—in a large church this is always special. This year I was able to attend a graduation open house for a young man who was in my small group many years ago—what a privilege to see what God has done in his life!
- The best part of team leading is faithfully serving where you believe God wants you to and knowing that he is working in and through you to share the good news of Jesus with these young hearts!
In Part 2 of this series Jan shares ideas for encouraging your team, dealing with challenges in the classroom, and special moments she has experienced.