ST. LOUIS – The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist State Sunday School Directors Association was held here May 12-14.
It was hosted by Mark Donnell, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) state Sunday School director. Donnell has been over that area in Missouri for a little more than two years after holding the same responsibility with the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.
“I enjoy getting fellowship and also interacting with and getting fresh ideas from other people, things that they are using across the country that I can use here as well,” Donnell said.
A total of 24 state Sunday School directors from around the country participated in this year’s meeting at the St. Louis Downtown Hilton, including directors from the Hawaii, Wyoming, Alaska, and New England Baptist State Conventions.
Along with their regular business, participants: discussed how to help churches begin and strengthen small group ministries; learned how the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Report will affect Sunday School ministry in state conventions; and heard reports from Bruce Raley, director of leadership ministry training and events for LifeWay Christian Resources, and David Francis, director of Sunday School for LifeWay Church Resources.
A new leadership resource from LifeWay – The Transformational Church by Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer – was introduced, along with how it can be used in the local church. The resource became available June 1.
The latest Sunday School leader training resource from Lifeway – Great Expectations: Planting Seeds for Sunday School Growth was shared as well. This piece is available now at Lifeway.com/sundayschool or by contacting Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (800) 736-0400 ext. 413.
The state Sunday School directors also enjoyed seeing interesting sights in St. Louis such as the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium. Brenda Donnell, Mark’s wife, treated the spouses to a day of sightseeing and shopping May 12. A banquet was held at Zia’s Italian Restaurant on “The Hill” in St. Louis that night.
First Baptist Church, St. John, provided its church bus to transport the directors to the banquet.
The purpose of the association is to bring together the state Sunday School directors for fellowship, exchange of ideas and networking. It also serves as a catalyst to provide field service and other support for pioneer and smaller state conventions. A website is available (www.sundayschooldirector.com) with current and relevant resources and information that will help local Sunday School leaders as they minister in Sunday School and small groups.