This is the fourth 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: What challenges do you face while serving as team leader?
A: It is really important for the church to partner with parents, working together to see faith grow in their children. One of the biggest challenges I face is helping the small group leaders connect with parents to build that partnership.
Some strategies I use to overcome this is to introduce parents to small group leaders when the children are being picked up. I also invite parents to help in the classroom as a substitute small group leader or with a craft. I encourage small group leaders to take the initiative to call or write parents, and the children in their group, during the year.
Q: Can you give one or two examples of how you encourage your team?
Each week I send an email to my team to relay practical details for Sunday and to encourage their hearts as they study the lesson. I usually share a few verses, song lyrics or an excerpt from a devotional or sermon that relates to the word we are studying that week.
I also host a few events during the year to help us get to know each other. Sometimes we will meet at someone’s home for potluck or the ladies on my team meet at a coffee shop for fellowship.
Q: You've been involved in ministry to children for a long time. Are there any specific moments or experiences that stand out that you would like share in order to encourage others?
There are many special moments, but a few that stand out are these:
- One year we had a special needs boy in our class who needed surgery on his legs. It was a joy to have him, along with his parents and our children’s pastor, join our team for a special time of prayer before his surgery.
- I assign each of my small groups a child from one of our missionary families who is also in first grade. Throughout the year the small group prays for and writes to this individual. It is always a delight when they write back or visit our class when they are on furlough. This summer we had two children come home after Sunday school was finished, so we had a special open house for them to meet the children who are praying for them—it was a big blessing to the missionary families.
- One year, when I was out of town for a week, my team asked the kids and some of the parents to write me notes of appreciation for serving as team leader—that was such a surprise and encouragement to me.
- Each week, it is a joy to hear children saying verses and praising God. I love praying for them and I am blessed to see God working in their lives.
Read What is a Team Leader? (Part 1) where Jan describes her role as Team Leader and shares some of her favorite aspects of serving in this role.