Sunday School Job Outlines

Sunday School Job Outlines
W.E. Nichols




Job descriptions have come into rather common use in employing persons for business and professional positions. The armed services have total and precise descriptions of everything involved in a certain job.

Many churches are now finding that job descriptions help pastors and officers find the persons best fitted for certain jobs; help workers understand just what is expected of them; define lines of authority; and serve as a measure of performance in a particular task.

In making a job analysis, officers ask and answer such questions as

1. What is the purpose of this job?
2. What are the chief duties of this job or office?
3. Where does it fit into the total work of the church?
4. What other tasks are related to it?
5. To whom is this person immediately responsible?
6. How much time is involved in doing this task well?
7. Can its program be expanded?
8. What new features or projects can be added?


The Sunday school offers peak employment: There is no featherbedding; there is no automation. Several scriptural references establish this position: “Son, go work for me today in my vineyard…” (Matthew 21:8); “To every man his work…” (Mark 13:34); “To every an according t. his several abilities…” (Matthew 25:15).

There are three rules involved in “personnel placement” in the work of the church and Sunday school: Avoid overworking; avoid overlooking; avoid overlapping. One of the most powerful tools in fulfilling the scriptural injunction, and at the same time avoiding the pitfalls, is JOB DESCRIPTION.


The following job descriptions are intended to provide simple, basic suggestions concerning various positions in the Sunday school. They are designed to help churches desiring to work out their own understandings of work assignments. Make necessary adjustment to fit into the local situation.

The first function of these descriptions is to give the administrators a comprehensive view of the total work: the pastor, minister of Christian education, Board of Christian Education, superintendents. These persons should read the whole list, thus gaining a total view. Some of these jobs have not been activated in some churches. It is possible, however, that such a job is actually needed, and attention should be given to see if the need exists. The job might then be activated and a person prayerfully and carefully selected to fill it.

The second function is the “enlistment interview.” The pastor or superintendent, or both of them together, make a call on the prospective worker. At this point, he is presented with the job description sheet, and his duties are fully explained. Never attempt to minimize the job in order to make him interested. He will more likely accept the job if he knows all it entails. He will resent the job if it is misrepresented to him.

The third function of this description is to guide the person as he approaches the continuing task. He is not left blindly to grope his way into an unknown.

Finally, the description functions as a sort of checklist for the worker’s personal evaluation both during the period of his assignment and at the end of the Sunday school year.

Many schools find it profitable to relate a “personnel analysis” to this They gather information about the abilities, interests, and aptitudes of each and every member of the Sunday school and church. Thus they are able to coordinate this information with the job description and avoid the “square-peg-in-round-hole” problem. This, of course, is done with earnest prayer so that the Holy Spirit may be the real Administrator.


As the active head of the church, the pastor becomes the active head of the Sunday school, historically, it has been said that the pastor’s relation with the school suffered from one of two problems: he did (a) too much or, (b) too little. There is, however, a more precise description of his job. His task falls in several areas:


* Attend board, staff, and committee meetings when possible.
* Keep Sunday school work before the whole church.
* Preach sermons on teaching and evangelism.
* Encourage, inspire, and inform the superintendent.
* Counsel and encourage individual staff members.
* Provide enthusiasm for enlargement and promotional emphasis.
* Show appreciation.
* Make the work satisfying.
* Provide new opportunities.


* Establish a spiritual climate which will provide awareness of responsibility.
* In some cases, go with the superintendent on “enlistment interviews.” Conduct meaningful installation services. Teach leadership training classes.
* Counsel the superintendent and other officers on matters of administration, supervision, and training.

* Represent the Sunday School Department and its work on the official board if no other representative is present.
* Be concerned with worship and other spiritual activities of the school.
* Give guidance in problems of inter-personal relationships (show sympathetic understanding).
* Serve as the supervisor of evangelism.
* Instruct workers in evangelism.
* Visit classes and departments.
* Evaluate the work for efficiency and effectiveness.
* Teach a class if the local situation seems to warrant it.
* Teach workers training classes.
* Attend workers conferences.
* Attend conventions, workshops, and demonstration classes.


* Help teachers and other staff members make contacts with pupils homes and home situations.
* Relate part of contact work to the Sunday school.
* Encourage the holding parent-teacher conferences.
* Preach sermons on the home.
* Counsel parents.
* Counsel prospective homemakers (pre-marital counseling).
* Maintain as much contact with the children of the school as possible.
* Preach or teach in Children’s Church once a month.
* Pastor visits home of first-time guests in following week.


Several names are given to this job which, in a sense, indicate different views of the position: Education director, director of Christian education, assistant pastor, assistant to the pastor, associate pastor, minister of Christian education.

Three questions seem to be involved: (I) Is he a junior member of the church staff and therefore responsible to the pastor? (2) Is he in charge of a special area of church work and therefore responsible to the church board? (3) Is he a minister of education and therefore responsible to the church body as any other minister might be? Usually, in our churches, he is responsible to the pastor. His work as a rule is terminated with the termination of the pastor.

This person is under the supervision of and is responsible to the pastor.


* Cooperate with the pastor.
* Lead in developing a philosophy and policies for the total educational work of the church, and for the Sunday school program.
* Coordinate the curricula of all departments of the church.
* Lead in coordinating and supervising all education activities within the church.
* Interpret educational objectives to the church.
* Help develop the evangelistic outreach of all church agencies.
* Supervise child evangelism activities.
* Help in enlisting and training workers.
* Develop a program of promotion and publicity.
* Give guidance in securing suitable facilities and equipment.
* Keep abreast of the trends in Christian education.


* Recruit workers.
* Develop and conduct a continuous training program.
* Make personnel and job analysis.
* Supervise the learning situation.
* Promote enlargement and evangelism.
* Integrate Sunday school activities into the church calendar.
* Offer inspiration and counsel.
* Engage in creativity and promotion,
* Keep in touch with trends and interpret these to Sunday school workers.
* Attend monthly workers conferences.


Pastor: He is amenable to the pastor. He will keep the pastor informed of his plans. He will never openly criticize the pastor and will not entertain criticisms of the pastor.

Church board: In some cases he is an ex-officio member of the board. At least a happy relationship should exist between them. He will keep the board informed of policies and projected programs.

Board of Christian Education: He is a member and may serve as committee chairman.

Sunday school superintendent: The minister of Christian education is in charge of all the educational work of the church. The superintendent is the executive administrator of the Sunday school. The minister of Christian education will provide guidance, skill, and resources for the superintendent. He works on the coordination and policy-making level, whereas the superintendent will probably preside over workers conferences, departmental conferences, etc.

National and District Sunday School Departments: Cooperate and promote various Sunday School programs from either the National, District or Sectional level.


1. Not only be your best but the best you can become
a. Examine yourself regularly; watch letting down unconsciously.
b. Feel the weight of your responsibility.
c. Study further into your field of service.

2. Spirituality
a. Personal daily prayer life; student of the Bible.
b. Have a definite burden for souls.
c. Dedication: Willing to give time, talent, everything.
d. Faithfulness – I Cor. 4:2

3. Enthusiasm
a. For evangelism, growth and teaching
b. Pass inspiration to entire S.S. and church
c. For entire church program as well as Sunday School

4. Ability to work with People (all kinds)
a. Delegate responsibility clearly
b. Secure and discover new workers (train them)
c. Obtain cooperation of staff in projects, contests, etc.
d. Love people, especially children (mingle with them)
e. Resolve problems; encourage staff, quick to commend, slow to criticize

5. Aggressiveness – Rom. 12:11
a. Don’t be afraid to launch out; risk failure, have faith
b. Keep in mind that a feeble halfway, poorly executed effort is doomed to failure
c. Take the initiative, employ vision, holy vigor (always clear with pastor)


1. As a leader you must inspire others to follow you. Leaders earn their place of respect from the people.
2. Getting people to accept a task in the Sunday School.
a. Do not beg anyone to take a position as a favor to you
b. Never ask on the spur of the moment
c. Magnify the task (you must prepare in advance to do this)
d. Think of all the excused they may have–have answers ready
e. Use a soft manner–lead up to your request, don’t spring it on them
f. Don’t let them say “no” by saying to them, “Don’t answer yet, let’s pray about it for a day or so, then answer.”
g. Explain the task fully – simplify it, promise your help
h. Don’t give up on a person too quickly. Offer an alternate job such as assistant teacher or helper
i. Be considerate of personal problems they may have

3. Make your staff/workers accountable (receive regular reports)
4. Make promises sparingly, then keep them very religiously. You are only as good as your word
5. Keep a positive attitude, smile in spite of worries, pain, disappointments
a. Avoid being over-anxious for praise for what you have done
b. The secret of an enthusiastic attitude:
i. Be prayed up; this makes you alive, forceful
ii. Use expression (voice and facial) -have a rubber face.
iii. Never speak about God or His work without enthusiasm
iv. Once obtained, hold onto your anointing
6. The price of success is “serving”
7. Removing a worker
a. Avoid sudden dismissal, should be a last resort
b. Installation easy–removal difficult
c. Don’t soft soap or avid the issue
d. Seek pastor’s help if necessary
8. The value of new ideas and how to make them work
a. Ideas create new enthusiasm.
b. Be on the alert for new ideas
c. Do not turn away an idea without investigation
d. Where to get and how to retain ideas:
i. Newspapers, magazines, conversations, experiences
ii. Read books, bookets involving Sunday School
iii. Observe other leaders and organizations
iv. Attend training classes, conventions, rallies
v. Ask for ideas from your associates, other leaders
e. Carry a notebook to enter ideas
f. File ideas you may want to use in future
g. Ideas won’t work themselves, which means you must put them to work


1. He shall be the chairman of the publicity committee
2. He is expected to foresee special days and to arrange special promotion for them
a. He is to be an idea factory for these times and days
b. He is not to let a special day or event catch us unaware
c. He is to begin the planning of his promotion far enough in advance
i. so that the teachers will have time to take advantage of it
ii. so there will be no conflict with his idea and any the departmental superintendent or teachers might have had
iii. so that he might confer with the pastor and staff superintendent that there be no conflict and that each event might be exploited to its fullest exten
3. He shall be responsible for seeing that materials needed in promotional endeavors are secured, put up, and taken down, and put away if there be any hope of using them again.
4. He shall not go ahead with expenditures of money in promotional work without submitting an estimate of cost to the pastor
5. He shall at times promote the Sunday School in the general assembly by various methods which he and the pastor have judged profitable
6. He shall feel free to promote by all means which do not conflict with current Sunday School procedures, and which are endorsed by the pastor.
a. By continually speaking of Sunday School growth personally with the church and Sunday School membership
b. By noting and mentioning exceptional attendances in various departments
c. By working with all departments, especially with the weaker ones in an effort to build up their attendance, offering them promotional suggestions, and assisting them where needed to carry them out
7. He shall follow these steps before beginning any major promotion:
a. Clear his promotional ideas through the Board of Christian Education
b. Submit it to the pastor for his approval
c. Confer with the staff superintendent so as to avoid any conflict of any other program then or soon to be going on This conference is for the sake of effort correlation
8. The superintendent of promotion is to feel free to call a meeting with the publicity committee at any time deemed necessary
9. Be shall endeavor to create and keep a favorable public sentiment by sending letters of appreciation to visitors, new members, etc.
10. He shall direct the activities of all welcoming committees to see that both member and visitors alike are welcomed to the Sunday School


The superintendent of the Sunday school is a member of the
Sunday School staff and will serve as its chairman. The work he does is best defined as “a leader of group leader.” He accomplishes his work by seeing that others carry out their assignments.

This person is under the supervision of and is responsible to the pastor, and/or the Minister of Christian Education.


I. Personal growth

* Maintain a spiritual and devotional life. Attend regular services in the church. Attend regular workers training courses.
* Keep informed of current ideas and information about the Sunday school work through systematic reading.
* Attend conventions, workshops and seminars.

II. Management of physical surroundings
* Preside–or arranges for others to preside–at general assemblies.
* Arrange for adequate supply of proper literature.
* Arrange for necessary equipment (any materials necessary to provide for the teaching situation).
* Work toward provision of proper classrooms.
* Check cleanliness and neatness of department and classroom areas.
* Manage traffic flow to and from classes.

III. Administration of personnel

* Recruit officers and teachers.
* Fill staff vacancies.
* Provide for an annual installation service.
* Provide effective substitutes as needed.
* Counsel with and encourage individual members of the staff.
* Keep workers informed of trends and best techniques.

IV. Planning and promotion of the program

* Set up a consistent program of promotion.
* Include the year’s activities on a master calendar.
* Utilize special days.
* Set enrollment and attendance goals.
* Emphasize training courses.
* Arrange for monthly workers conferences.
* Cooperate with the district and National Sunday School Department programs.
* Promote wholesome home-Sunday school relationships.

V. Oversight of the work

* Give the pastor regular reports which are factual and indicate progress and trends.
* Show concern for both the education efforts and spiritual welfare of the school.
* Maintain proper departmentalization. Provide for promotion of pupils.
* Set up and operate a consistent followup program.
* Make personal observation visits to departments to be aware of progress and needs.
* Require maintenance of adequate records.
* See that sufficient operational finance is available.
* See that time schedules are set and followed.
* Follow through on order and discipline.
* Encourage a program of evangelism.


The duties of the general secretary involve the following:

(1) To follow established record system as approved by Board of Christian Education.
(2) To keep accurate records within this system.
(3) To make the facts, revealed by the records, readily available and understandable to those who should be guided by them.
(4) He will have the responsibility for ordering the literature of the entire school. In many cases he will be the treasurer of the school.

This person is under the supervision of and is responsible to the general superintendent.


* See that all records for the school are complete and correct.
* Take notes and keep minutes of committee and staff meetings, and workers conferences.
* Prepare and make all necessary reports.
* Order and distribute all Sunday School supplies. (Take monthly inventory of supplies and purchase)
* May recheck class records and departmental records for accuracy.
* Is expected to participate actively in the general activities of the church.
* Is to submit a monthly report of Sunday School attendance; to include:
o Whole Sunday School and Class average for the past month.
o Increase or decrease over same month a year ago.
o Total yearly average attendance for whole school up to that period.
o Increase or decrease over previous month.
o Show absentees for month.


* The treasurer will be responsible for all money received in offerings during the Sunday School session in all departments and classes.
* He will keep a systematic account of receipts and disbursements.
* He will see that the amount turned into the general office is recounted and correct.
* He will help promote the ministry of giving throughout the school and keep the school informed of financial needs.
* He will make monthly, quarterly, or other reports as required.
* He will manage the deposit and disbursement of funds in the following manner:
* He will turn all funds to the general treasurer of the church) providing the necessary vouchers for disbursement of Sunday School bills and obligations.
* He will be responsible to tithe on Sunday School offerings for the support of the program of the Sunday School Department of his District


This person is under the supervision of and is responsible to the General Superintendent.


* He will be responsible for and oversee the work of the enrollment.
* He will pick up class record books Sunday morning and take them to Sunday School Office for General Sunday School Secretary to record in master record book.
* He will follow the established, policy in regard to enrollment: (a) When to enroll a student; (b) When to drop; (c) What is an inactive member.
* He will keep personal information on each student: birthday, comprehensive Sunday School record, address, phone, family relationships, aptitudes, potential, and interests.
* He will direct the absentee follow-up activities. He will be responsible for the absentee follow-up.
* He will be responsible to collect the reports from those who are doing follow-up work.
* He will record information about each visitor to the Sunday School.
* He will issue all visitation and follow-up assignments and receive and record the results of the assignments.
* He will work in close cooperation with the general superintendent in preparing for the enlargement campaign and will provide necessary forms and systems to conserve the results.
* He will secure necessary equipment, as file cabinets, forms, cards, record books, etc.
* He will attend monthly workers conferences.


If the pupil is the most important unit of the Sunday school, then the teacher is the one closest to and most responsible for the pupil. The success of the whole enterprise rests upon the teacher. Everything possible should be done by the administration to facilitate the work of teaching and class evangelism.

This person is under the supervision of and is responsible to the department superintendent or the general superintendent.


I. Personal growth

* Attend services of the church regularly and faithfully.
* Support the church and its work.
* Maintain a personal devotional life.
* Attend monthly workers conferences and department conferences.
* Attend workshops, demonstration classes, and conventions.
* Study the Workers Handbook for the age-level he teaches.
* Read “Thrust”, other periodicals, and books about the work.
* Study the Bible systematically.

II. Effectiveness as staff member

* Be present regularly (at least 46 Sundays a year).
* Be present ahead of time each Sunday for prayer.
* Arrange all materials before class starts.
* Cooperate with the superintendent, with other teachers, and with the assistant(s).
* Carefully observe clean-up time or closing time.
* Follow up absentees with visits, phone calls, or correspondence.
* Study class records and utilize the information they yield.
* Visit in homes at least once a year, or as needs arise, associating the work of the classroom and the home.
* Notify the departmental superintendent or general superintendent well in advance about anticipated absences or about any decision to resign.

III. Understand his task (read Teacher’s Contract)

* Know age-group characteristics. Understand how persons learn.
* Review the teacher’s contract once a month.
* Know the individual pupils in terms of home life, spiritual needs, emotional needs, with the purpose of winning his soul.

IV. Begin to prepare Sunday’s lessons early in the preceding week

* Read the entire unit or quarter’s lessons as a whole in order to see how each lesson fits and the whole develops.
* Hake carefully written lesson plans.
* Use a variety of teaching methods, as group discussion, audio-visual, questioning, displays, activities, etc.
* Remember that the teaching really begins when the first pupil arrives. Be a friend of each pupil.
* Evaluate the work: pupil responses; change of pupil behavior. Use tests and quizzes.
* Endeavor to have lesson preparation in such a manner that quarterlies will not be brought into classroom. Use Bible only in the classroom.


1. He shall direct the visitation program of the church. He shall be responsible for assignments, follow up, and compiling the results of all prospects.
2. He will plan for and direct a continuous program of visitation and evangelism, contacting as many prospects as possible.
3. He will arrange that assignment materials (prospect cards, brochures, tracts, etc.) are available for all visitation workers.
4. He will zone and map areas where assignments shall be made.
5. He shall receive and record the results of all assignments.
6. He shall inspire evangelistic enthusiasm by the following means:
a. Posters on bulletin board
b. Inspire workers to visitation commitment in midweek services
c. Inspire workers to a burden for lost souls

The above article, “Sunday School Job Outlines,” is written by W.E. Nichols. The article was excerpted from Christian Educators Manual, Western District UPCI, 1988.

The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.