The Role of the Sunday School Director

Discovering… My Essential Role as Sunday School Director

Essential is an appropriate word to describe the fundamental importance of the role of a Sunday School director. A strong, lay Sunday School director is of absolute importance to the success of Sunday School work in an individual church.

Sunday School director, it is hard to overstate the importance of your role. You have responsibility for overall direction of the work of the largest organized group of leaders in most churches-a group responsible for life-changing teaching of God’s Word and for reaching efforts that bring people to Christ as Savior. Awesome!

You know that your work is essential. Did you also know that, as Sunday School director, you are a PEOPLE person?

  • Planner
  • Equipper
  • Organizer
  • Provider
  • Leader
  • Encourager

As a Planner, lead in setting the direction for your Sunday School through annual, monthly, and weekly planning. During annual planning bring together leaders who represent various aspects of the work of your Sunday School.

Begin annual planning by asking God for a direction and a dream for your work. With other leaders evaluate present work. Together determine needs and priorities from that evaluation. Lead this team to establish goals, develop plans, and build a budget that provides support for accomplishing those goals.

As part of monthly planning, chair the Sunday School Council (or Planning Team) and guide the monthly meeting. During these meetings, develop details for carrying out the plans of the Sunday School. Also address current and future needs.

During weekly planning, Sunday School class/department leaders make plans and take actions for doing effective Sunday School work on a weekly basis, including preparation for life-changing Bible study.

As an Equipper, invest in your leaders by preparing “the saints for the work of service” (Eph. 4:12, NASB). Become your Sunday School’s “Number I” champion for training. Make yourself aware of how well leaders are serving, and through training equip them to function at even higher levels of effectiveness.

Ensure that training resources are readily available and that leaders are aware of their value and use. Include money for training in the church budget. Use a variety of avenues to train your leaders: individual consultation; mentoring relationships; books, magazines, and videotapes; and training events conducted at your church, association, state convention, and Glorieta and Ridgecrest Conference Centers.

By becoming a dedicated equipper you will make a difference in the lives of your leaders-and in the lives of those whom they lead.

As an Organizer, help your Sunday School function at optimum levels. A strong organization is essential to a healthy Sunday School. Annually, determine the best organization for quality teaching and growth to occur in your Sunday School. Provide the appropriate size departments and classes.

Develop a strong, well-equipped Sunday School leadership team. Continually seek to discover new Sunday School leaders through potential leader training and other avenues of discovery. See that new leaders are enlisted personally by the person to whom they will be responsible. Provide all leaders with a written ministry description. Commit to start new units as opportunities arise.

As a Provider, help energize your Sunday School. Become an advocate for your Sunday School and, within the financial constraints of your church, provide the resources, equipment, and training your leaders need. Develop a detailed annual Sunday School budget.

As a Leader, be the guide for your Sunday School. Share your passion and vision. Clearly communicate the purpose of your Sunday School and how it works to achieve that purpose.

Involve other Sunday School leaders in planning the work. Include them in developing goals for the Sunday School as well as in developing goals for their departments and classes. One mark of an effective director is that the other leaders sense they have ownership of the work of the Sunday School as well as for their own area of responsibility.

As an Encourager, add vitality and joy to the service of your Sunday School leaders. Take personal interest in them. Know their capabilities, and compliment them with credibility. Use people as positive illustrations. Support your leaders in their work; respond quickly to their needs; and serve as their advocate when needed. Plan special events and actions to motivate and encourage leaders.

The Sunday School Director Job Responsibilities

The Sunday School director serves as the general administrative leader of a church’s Sunday School. This person is responsible for coordinating the work of all Sunday School classes, departments, and other Bible study groups toward the overarching purpose of the Sunday School. He leads in planning, organizing, enlisting and equipping leaders, and in mobilizing members to achieve goals and objectives toward the Sunday School’s stated purpose.

Major Responsibilities

  • meet regularly with the Sunday School Council (Planning Team)
  • communicate goals and actions to leaders and participants and evaluate progress
  • lead in developing an effective organization that facilitates spiritual transformation
  • lead in efforts to call participants into service and in enlisting and developing new leaders
  • lead in evaluating needs related to space, budget, Bible study curriculum, supplies, and other resources; and recommend needed actions
  • set a positive example for others by living as an authentic witness of Christ and through full involvement in the life and ministry of the church