“Why should we train our Sunday School teachers?” was the question raised at a recent meeting. According to 15 years of research by Tim Smith of the Georgia Sunday School/Open Group team, the training of a church’s Sunday School and small group leaders is one of the five most important actions that are conducive to a church’s growth and spiritual health.

In most of those 15 years, it has been the top indicator of growth for a church of any size. Smith also discovered that 85 percent of workers in growing churches attend leadership training.

So why is training of the church’s Sunday School leaders so vital? Here are five quick reasons why leaders need ongoing training. Consider the following items that training provides a leader:

1. Trained teachers better understand the church’s strategy of making disciples through small groups. Discipleship does not just happen in a small group; it must intentionally happen.

It is erroneous to assume that a person attending Sunday School is being discipled. Training better equips the teacher to disciple his or her group. Trained teachers are more likely to understand and better able to communicate the church’s strategy if they have been trained.

2. Trained teachers are better equipped to teach the Bible transformationally. Leaders who attend training learn new techniques to communicate God’s Word with their group.

3. A trained teacher is better able to minister to the people in their group.

4. Delegation of ministry and developing the giftedness of the people in their group are essential to a spiritually-healthy group. Teachers learn new ways to minister through technology at training. In addition, training also includes how to do old-fashioned relationship building.

5. By participating in training, new teachers have the opportunity to learn from more experienced leaders. In return, more experienced leaders can learn new concepts and ideas from new people. If you are an experienced teacher, attending a training event, even as a participant, provides the opportunity to mentor new leaders who are hungry for your insight.

This August, ReConnect Sunday School and several Oklahoma associations are partnering together to equip Sunday School leaders of all age groups. Because each association is unique, the training sessions vary from one association to the next. Also, all training opportunities are open to leaders from other associations. For more information and updates, visit www.reconnectss.com/clinics.