Sunday School Class Administration – Purpose and Approach

1. Objective

To understand the importance of organisation in the Sunday School and purpose and approach of class administration in the overall organisation.

2. Introduction

God is a God of order and design. Organisation is evident in the arrangement of creation, in the created beings and in the continuing function of that which he created. There is organised arrangement and design even in the minute things god has made. Likewise, the Sunday School requires some form of organisation. An organised Sunday School gives responsibility to its workers and effectiveness to its ministry.

3. Importance of Organisation

Organisation has been defined as the breaking down of group responsibility into parts which can be assigned to individuals and committees. Organisation ensures orderly planning, efficient distribution of work and problem-solving. Hit-or-miss work cannot achieve the greatest possible results.

As we consider the spiritual thrust in teaching God’s Word to our members, we must consider the dimensions of the task — its problems, possibilities, needs and means of accomplishing the task.

Hence organisation is important to the Sunday School ministry for the following reasons:

(a) Makes Planning Possible – necessary for planning, evaluation and revision in the light new developments. In the Sunday School things do not just happen. They are more likely to happen when goals are clarified and related to the purposes of the church as a whole. Consequently, we should continually seek better and effective ways of teaching God’s Word to our members.

(b) Identifies Responsibilities – given the enormous task of teaching God’s Word to a wide spectrum of the church population makes it necessary to identify the critical areas and allocating the various responsibilities in these areas to individuals or committees.

(c) Identifies Problems – diverse problems will bound to happen when we seek to effect change in people’s lives. Identifying problems requires foreknowledge and thorough understanding of the present situation. Hence, a state of preparedness will enable us to solve any problems which may arise.

(d) Charts the Future – makes possible for growth and encourages future development in new ministries. Discovering new talents and matching them against the varying needs of our church is one example (1 Cor 12:28).

(e) Provides a Channel of Communication – teaching God’s Word is a two-way process and akin to building bridges between the lives of the teacher and those who are being taught. The greater the commonality of these two, the greater the potential for communication. Hence we should strive to break down all barriers in our relationships with the class-members.

4. Sunday School Class Administration

This is an important component of the Sunday School organisation. It is more than just record-keeping of our members’ enrolment and attendance in the Sunday School and later only to be archived in the storeroom.

The key in our understanding lies in John 10:11-16 — we should strive to develop a deep mutual knowledge between ourselves and the class-members just like that of the Father and the Son. In addition to taking stock of our `sheep’, we begin to take a global view of our potential members.

Our primary purpose of record-keeping is for teachers to evaluate and determine areas of need within the lives of their members. This information only reveal the need and action must be planned and carried out before record-keeping has really served its purpose. (e.g. How many of my members have yet to be baptised and how should I encourage them in the coming months? or How can I help those who are perpetually late for Sunday School lessons?)

The other purposes of Sunday School administration include: promotion of the teaching ministry (talent scout), proper conditions for teaching (physical arrangement, equipment and teaching aids) and enough funds to pay for these expenses (budgeting).

5. Our Approach

(a) Simplicity – all teachers must be able to keep track of their `fold’

(b) Current – all information should be kept up-to-date

(c) Systematic – continuity and uniformity should be maintained in spite of turnover of teachers

(d) Permanence – all records are to be preserved

(e) Spiritual – spiritual conclusions reached after an evaluation of the records should be used to challenge your members to be more like Christ and to serve Him more faithfully.

6. Posers

(a) Do you know your faithful members have overcome hindrances in order to be present in your class?

(b) Does irregular attendance signals anything to you?

(c) Does your teaching process lags behind the learning process of your members?

(d) Do I detect any negative `tell-tale’ signs in our members’ offerings?

(e) Am I able to spot at least one potential teacher who is willing to be trained?

(f) Are there any special gifts among my members which are useful for other ministries in the church?

(g) Do we have a proper system in handling newcomers?

(h) Who should you visit next in order of priority?

(i) What are the strengths and weaknesses of your class?

(j) What sort of prayer items are shared in your class and do your members hold you in confidence?