If your Sunday School is winding down for the school year and you’re eager for that summer break, HOLD ON A MINUTE! Don’t close those classroom doors until you have connected with each of your teachers and assistants to talk about their experiences. Their high calling of loving children and helping them experience Jesus’ love deserves time and attention. So take the time to listen—you are investing in the future of the children and staff under your care. The information you receive now will give you a head start for fall preparations, and you’ll have the summer months to tweak glitches that become apparent.
Talk to the teachers face-to-face if at all possible. A phone call or even an email is better than no contact at all. Here are some sample questions to get started. Feel free to adjust them according to your needs.
- How do you think God used you in this setting? Think about how you might answer this question for them so you are ready to offer insight if they are unable to verbalize an answer.
- What gave you the greatest satisfaction? How did this experience use your gifts and strengths? Enjoy this opportunity to share highlights. Look for clues that identify gifts; you may even discover another area of service that could be a better fit.
- What were your greatest challenges? Everybody in ministry has struggles; talk about them and search for solutions together.
- How might I have served you better? Listen with humility and heed ways you can improve your leadership.
- What is your impression about the change (name it) we introduced this year? For example, if you changed curriculum or the check-in procedure, be sure to hear how it affected the teachers. Listen well without defensiveness.
- Would you like to continue serving in your current role next fall? If you hoped for a “yes” answer and receive it, thank God! If the person made a wonderful contribution but would prefer not to return, you might ask for a smaller or different commitment. If you feel that the individual could serve better elsewhere, rephrase the question to, “Next fall, we really need someone to _____. Would you consider taking on that role?”
The one-on-one time spent now with Sunday School staff will serve you well this fall. Don’t rush into vacation and miss this opportunity!
PS These same questions can be asked of Midweek and VBS staff.