Youth Resources

The Pastor's Role in the Christian Education of the Local Church

By Richard D. Anderson

INTRODUCTION: The pastor has a unique opportunity to help build the Kingdom of God on earth as he involves himself in the ministry of Christian Education. All too often, the pastor of a local congregation falls into one of two extremes: either he gets too involved in the day to day running of the Sunday School or he is too distant. "As pastor of the whole church, he should be the spiritual and inspirational head of the Sunday School" (H.W. Byrne). May the Lord guide us as we involve ourselves properly in the work of our Sunday Schools!

I. Being a Prayer Warrior (Exodus 17:11)

A. Pray regularly for students, preachers, and the Christian Education Committee of your church.
B. Ask God for a fresh vision of growth for your Sunday School.
C. Pray for the Parish Education ministry of our A.F.L.C.

II. Being an Example (I Timothy 4:12)

A. As a pastor carries out his ministry of teaching and preaching, he can lead by example. Pray that the Lord would help you to be disciplined in your preparation and truly excited about sharing insights from God's word.
B. As you would encourage your staff to grow in their character, knowledge, and skills, may you also be willing to grow. Take advantage of teaching opportunities where you can learn as a student.

III. Being a Shepherd (I Peter 5:2-3)

A. Have a watchful eye towards each Christian Education leader and teacher. Frustration, discouragement, and burn-out can occur so easily and a word of concern and prayer from you as pastor can go far in encouraging your workers.
B. Pray for a discerning spirit as you seek to know the needs of the children, teens, and adults in your congregation. Is the Christian Education ministry of your church meeting needs?
C. By meeting regularly with your Sunday School leadership, help them define the type of ministries and programs that would best apply to your church.
D. Help to integrate the Sunday School ministry into the mainstream of the life of the congregation.

"A hostile pastor equals a dead Sunday School; an indifferent pastor equals an inefficient Sunday School; an officious (one who can't work in a wholesome way with his leaders) pastor equals a chaotic Sunday School; but a cooperating and sympathetic pastor equals an efficient Sunday School." -- Dr. E.Y. Mullins

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