This first post was originally part of the Recruiting and Training Teachers forum.
You are invited to reply and post your ideas!
Recruiting Sunday School Teachers in the Time of COVID
Wouldn't all of us LOVE to have last year's recruiting challenges instead of this year's! I am optimist. I do believe that crisis can be the mother of invention, and the Lord truly knows that Sunday School has needed its cage rattled for quite some time.
I'm writing this in late July 2020 when we SHOULD be talking about staffing our fall classes, but instead, are wondering IF we're going to have fall classes at all, and if not, then what? Here are some ideas and opportunities to chew on that you can start recruiting for NOW.
Questions keeping us up at night:
1. Will there be ANY Sunday School "classes" in our church buildings this fall?
2. How many kids will show up? (All indicators are that people are returning very slowly to worship even in those churches and regions where churches have reopened.)
3. And what about some of our "Older" recruits that we need to be concerned about? In some churches I've taught in, HALF of my teachers were over the age of 60.
4. And sadly, some churches will or have already "furloughed" or let go of their CE staff due to thin finances EVEN THOUGH these are the very people we NEED right now.
Every crisis, however, presents an opportunity:
...And WHAT we're recruiting for will tell us a lot about WHO we should be recruiting.
Churches who will include an "online" Sunday School component this fall can reach A LOT of students with just a few volunteers. That's especially good news if you have a church professional on staff (and a great reason NOT to furlough them). You’ll need enthusiastic and “technically competent” help. Recruit a techie for support and those whose energetic personalities will play well on a small screen. Recruit teens to help.
Ramping up your at-Home lesson efforts can help shift teaching back onto the parents -- which is exactly where we always wished it would be. They just need the right materials, your encouragement, and knowing other parents are doing the same. Recruiting someone to help create or aggregate and distribute curriculum to families is a lot easier for certain volunteers than having to lead a class or small group at a designated time. See our new @Home Sunday Lessons here at rotation.org. (Keep in mind that “online and at-home” won’t reach all our kids. Recruit someone to help you reach the "unreached" in your church family.)
Key leaders and teachers are doing more "care and connecting" than they used to (and less formal teaching). Caring for one another has always been an important lesson we've tried to teach, and now we're getting the chance to really do it. It will also be blessing that pays off in diamonds when "normal" Sunday School returns. Recruit some parents and their children that othet kids and parents are familiar and send them to knock on a few doors. Read some ideas about connecting outside the classroom.
Some Sunday Schools are experimenting with SMALL IN-HOME "POD" GATHERINGS to conduct intergenerational lessons. These are two or three families holding a lesson and fellowship time in their own homes with appropriate social distancing practices and learning materials supplied by the church. In many ways, these “pods” ideas are like the old "Backyard Bible Studies" of the 70's and 80's. They created strong bonds. Recruit individual families to be the "seed families" for these pod groups.
Faith tells us to turn problems into opportunities, and this season we have a bunch of them!