How many of us have attended a boring Sunday School planning meeting? I have, and occasionally I have even been the one leading the meeting. Ouch!
Regular planning meetings are essential for effective and growing (revolutionary) Sunday School. So how can we change our meetings to make them 100% better? Consider the following practices:
- Pray for the Lord’s leadership. Ask him to bless, lead, and help in advance. See discernment related to the meeting and to Sunday School. There is power in prayer.
- Plan out the agenda. Sit down with the pastor or key leaders to plan out the meeting. Write the agenda down. Determine what are the big rocks of the meeting. Determine order and who should lead items. Communicate the agenda in advance of the meeting.
- Focus more on issues that apply to everyone gathered.When possible talk to individuals about individual issues before (or after) your meeting rather than during it.
- Focus on the vision more than the problems. Vision looks for ways around challenges. Vision raises expectations. Vision motivates. But vision without movement is frustrating, so develop a strategy for the vision and meet to report on progress.
- Ensure individuals with agenda items are ready. Make sure they are prepared before the meeting. This helps them not to be embarrassed, and it helps the group not to waste time.
- Get attenders involved. Give each person a task. Ask for help setting up the room. Ask for someone to open and someone else to close in prayer. If everyone is involved, they will be more interested and invested in the meeting.
- Work toward consensus rather than voting. Avoid voting. Work for common agreement even if you have to move more slowly. Voting can divide on important issues.
- Lavish affirmation. Catch leaders and classes doing something good and affirm them at the meeting. Give praise and even rewards.
- Invite a guest speaker. Add a brief training element to your meeting. Invite a guest to lead that training. A new face and voice can add interest and variety.
- Don’t just tell. Ask. There will naturally be information to share with everyone. But vary the agenda by asking participants questions. Get input. Show them their presence in the meeting was vital.
- Provide childcare. This helps parents and grandparents caring for children to be able to attend and not be distracted by them in the meeting.
- Provide refreshments. A little food helps people relax. If the meeting goes more than an hour, this is helpful.
What would you add to this list? Press Comments below and share ways you have found to make Sunday School planning meeting better.