If you are like me, you tend to be overly self-critical. I often have extremely high expectations of myself. On the other hand, even though I may not enjoy the criticism of others, I always benefit from an awareness of areas in which I can improve. There is a needed balance between having tough skin (allow nothing to bother you) and having sensitive skin (allow everything to bother you).
I like the process of 360 degree feedback. The concept in business is that you have people above you, peers, and those you lead to evaluate you. In order to give God our best, revolutionary Sunday School teachers and leaders must be open to evaluation and feedback from God, other leaders, and our class members. Are you nervous? Approached with the right attitude, it can be humbling and encouraging at the same time.
Give God your best. Prepare as if He will be present in class–because He will! After every class, ask (1) what went well and (2) what could I do better next time? Ten more specific questions to pose about each Sunday’s class time (consider a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being great):
- Did I give God and class attenders my best effort in prayer and preparation of the lesson?
- Did I arrive 10-15 minutes early in order to prepare for the lesson, prepare the room, and greet the class?
- Did class start on time rather than waiting for more to arrive?
- Did I or other class leaders guide a brief time of prayer/prayer requests, outreach assignments, fellowship plans, and announcements?
- Did I capture their interest at the start of the lesson in the topic/truth of the day through use of a question, illustration, or other method?
- Did I involve all participants in the discovery of the truth of God’s Word? Were multiple learning styles addressed through the use of multiple teaching methods?
- Did I use illustrations that helped the class to understand the relevance of the lesson to their lives?
- Were attenders led to apply the truth of God’s Word to their lives? Were they confronted with the need for change as a result of the lesson? Were they led to plan their next step of obedience?
- Did class end with prayer within a couple of minutes of the official ending time?
- Did I hang around class for a few minutes to invest in relationships with members and guests?
Pray. Prepare well. Give God your best. Don’t fear evaluation; seek it. Plan to be revolutionary!
This blog entry dealt more with the Sunday morning experience. Next time, I will focus more about the other aspects of an adult Sunday School teacher’s job. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!