12.2 Ward Sunday School Leadership
This chapter focuses on administering the Sunday School in a way that will strengthen individuals and families. Sunday School leaders frequently review chapter 3, which outlines general principles of leadership. These principles include preparing spiritually, participating in councils, ministering to others, and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The bishop and his counselors provide priesthood leadership for the Sunday School.
The bishop calls and sets apart the Sunday School president. He also oversees the calling and setting apart of other Sunday School workers. He may assign his counselors to call and set them apart.
The bishop assigns one of his counselors to oversee the ward Sunday School, including the meetinghouse library. This counselor meets regularly with the ward Sunday School presidency. He reports on Sunday School and meetinghouse library matters in bishopric meetings.
Ward Sunday School Presidency
Members of the ward Sunday School presidency are priesthood holders. Where possible, the president holds the Melchizedek Priesthood. They work under the direction of the bishopric. They receive orientation and ongoing support from the stake Sunday School presidency.
Ward Sunday School President
The Sunday School president has the following responsibilities:
He serves as a member of the ward council. As a member of this council, he participates in efforts to build faith and strengthen individuals and families (see chapter 4). He comes to ward council meeting prepared to suggest ways members can improve learning and teaching at church and in their homes. As invited by the bishop, he conducts training in ward council meeting to help improve gospel learning and teaching in the ward.
He submits recommendations to the bishopric for ward members to be called to serve as counselors in the Sunday School presidency, as Sunday School teachers, and as ward librarian and assistant librarians. If needed, he also recommends a ward member to serve as Sunday School secretary. In making these recommendations, he follows the guidelines in 19.1.1 and 19.1.2.
He teaches other Sunday School leaders their duties, using this handbook as a resource.
Ward Sunday School President and His Counselors
Members of the ward Sunday School presidency work together to fulfill the following responsibilities:
They oversee efforts to improve gospel learning and teaching in Sunday School. In these efforts, they follow the principles in 5.5.3 and 5.5.4. They also support Sunday School teachers by (1) visiting with them occasionally to address their questions and concerns and to discuss ways to serve class members and (2) arranging to visit their classes.
They serve as specialists in the ward’s efforts to improve gospel learning and teaching (see 12.5).
They oversee the meetinghouse library. This includes (1) orienting newly called librarians, (2) providing ongoing support and training, and (3) recommending an annual budget for the library after consulting with the ward librarian.
They hold Sunday School presidency meetings. They also participate in meetings with the counselor in the bishopric who oversees the Sunday School.
The Sunday School president assigns his counselors to oversee some areas of responsibility. For example, he may delegate the responsibilities for organizing Sunday School classes for different age-groups, orienting teachers, supervising the meetinghouse library, and helping Sunday School teachers arrange for substitute teachers as needed. The counselors frequently report to him on their efforts.
Sunday School Teachers
Sunday School teachers teach classes as assigned by the bishopric and the Sunday School presidency. They follow the principles outlined in 5.5.4.
Ward Sunday School Secretary
If needed, the bishopric may call a brother to serve as ward Sunday School secretary. The secretary may be given the following responsibilities:
He consults with the presidency to prepare agendas for presidency meetings. He attends presidency meetings, takes notes, and keeps track of assignments.
He compiles attendance information and reviews it with the Sunday School president to help determine ways to encourage members to participate in Sunday School. Teachers should receive copies of this information.
Sunday School Class Presidents
With the approval of the bishopric, the Sunday School presidency may invite members to serve as Sunday School class presidents. Class presidents may be male or female. They may be asked to extend a brief welcome at the beginning of class, introduce new class members and visitors, and invite class members to offer the opening and closing prayers. They may also be asked to help with efforts to keep track of attendance and fellowship class members who do not attend regularly.