Mentoring Pays Dividends

Methods of providing ongoing mentoring were addressed in the Superintendents’ Training in the May issue. This time we look specifically at the need as it applies to secretaries and Investment leaders.

Although there are some conferences that give a good deal of attention to providing yearly training for their secretaries and Investment leaders, i.e., Northeastern Conference leadership training held in Albany every February, mentoring is the most common method.

However, churches that do not have formal training sessions for their secretaries and Investment leaders all want to ensure that their home-based training is more than a single, hasty session on the last Sabbath that the outgoing office holder will serve. Most outgoing officers have known for a number of weeks that they will be leaving the ministry. When they decide to move on, their mentoring should begin. Even better, they have been training someone for their important ministry all through their term of service.

New secretaries have a lot of responsibility that can be made a lighter load by careful attention to teaching them the spirit of the ministry as well as the letter of the ministry. The following tasks add this aspect to the mentoring of secretaries:

  • The various Sabbath School records and how to maintain them.
  • The record reporting format on computer and/or on paper.
  • How and when to submit reports to the conference.
  • How to maintain the Standing Order Forms for Sabbath School quarterlies, lesson papers, and other supplies from the Review and Herald and Pacific Press Publishing Associations.
  • Their role at Sabbath School Council meetings.
  • How to effectively give oral presentations (if your church requires oral reports on Sabbath morning).
  • The importance of being tuned in to the leadership styles of other Sabbath School leaders.
  • How to support class facilitators in personal, familial ways as well as in the efficient carrying out of their duties.
  • The importance of secretaries knowing how to handle standing orders (SOQ) was thoroughly covered in the superintendent section of the May issue. Purchase back issues through your Adventist Book Center.

Leadership training for Investment leaders will also underscore:

  • The value of having a well-planned program each month in which someone gives a report on their project or the leader provides a list of ideas.
  • The motivation of establishing an Investment goal for the year and having a highly visible goal device.

Be Wholistic

Mentoring should go further than the secretarial or Investment ministry.

  • All persons mentored need to see the broad scope of their ministry in light of the four goals of Sabbath School. They need to learn the words and methods of fulfilling these goals.
  • They need to learn the words and tune to the “North American Division Theme Song and Cheer.”

Knowing and respecting the common areas of Sabbath School ministry underscores the importance of working with other Sabbath School staff and with other ministries in the local church.

The Benefits Continue

The benefits of giving and receiving ongoing mentoring include these results:

  • A strong program can continue when leaders are sick, change ministries, or move from the church or the area.
  • There is a vibrancy to the Sabbath School program when officers are in an ongoing educational mode and are implementing their learning. Even the children will notice, because new methods and increased understanding of Bible and leadership principles affect the quality of all class sessions and the programs.
  • The need for their own ongoing education is ever apparent to experienced officers who mentor, because unique ideas, needs, experiences, and opportunities come to the table.
  • School evangelism increases. Outreach is a natural byproduct of trained leaders.
  • Tardiness and absenteeism are greatly reduced, if not eliminated, because boredom gets kicked to the curb.

Faith Johnson Crumbly
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists