In Part 1, I mentioned that my friend and fellow Rockbridge Seminary professor, Kerry Mackey, has written a pointed blog post entitled First Impressions–Whose Responsibility Is It Anyway? YOURS! His post is directed at the church as a whole, but I will apply his points to the Sunday School. In Part 1, I shared the first eight ways to take responsibilty for first impressions in Sunday School. In Part 2, I will share the final eight actions. Mackey’s points are in all capitals followed by my commentary.
Before, during, and after Sunday School, think about these things:
- PICK UP TRASH ON YOUR WAY IN AND OUT. Many first impressions are visual. Wherever you see trash, pick it up–utside the building, in the hallways, in bathrooms, in classrooms, or anywhere else. Don’t wait for custodians or someone else.
- STRAIGHTEN SIGNS IF NEEDED. This little attention to detail is significant. No one else may take responsibility for indoor or outdoor signs. If they need attention, give it. If a sign is for an event that is over, remove the sign.
- IF DISPLAYS LOOK MESSY, CLEAN AND STRAIGHTEN THEM. Messy displays can be a visual distraction. This includes bulletin boards, registration tables, announcement areas, etc. Remove outdated information.
- HELP SOMEONE FIND A SEAT [BEFORE CLASS GREETERS] DO. Be proactive. Allow the guest to be greeted twice–by you and by a class greeter. Choose a seat away from the door if possible–to allow later guests easy access to seats.
- BE AVAILABLE TO GIVE UP YOUR SEAT IN A HEARTBEAT. We tend to be creatures of habit and sit in the same seats in class each week. Make it your aim to give guests your seat every week! (But don’t make a big fuss out of it so the guest won’t feel uncomfortable about taking your seat.)
- STOP BY EVERY RESTROOM IN THE FACILITY AND CLEAN IT BEFORE IT NEEDS IT. This can be portioned out to others who are in different parts of the building. Check for odor. Stock the toilet paper and hand towels. Pick up trash from the counter and floor. Empty the trash. Clean the counter and/or mirrors.
- REPLACE THE PAPER IN THE RESTROOMS YOURSELF.It is very aggravating when toilet paper and hand towels are empty. Plan ahead so it won’t run out later.
- COME EARLY AND STAY LATE. This allows you to prayerwalk the facility; greet teachers, workers, members, and guests; turn on/off lights; pick up trash; and do all the things in this list as needed in order to make a great first (and last) impression.
Go back and review Part 1 Looking through all sixteen actions. How are you doing? Which one(s) can you address this week in order to set an example? How could you lead your class, greeters, or teachers to take a more active role in addressing these actions? Remember the importance of first and last impressions! Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Just do it. Be revolutionary!