In Part 1, I mentioned an article by Dale Roach entitled, “Why Teamwork Fails.” I encourage you to read his short article. In the article, Dale listed 15 simple reasons for teams fail. I have been turning those 15 reasons for teams to fail into reasons for teams to be effective when applied to the Sunday School.
In Part 1 of this three-part series, I shared the first five reasons: communication, networking, vision, working on goals and strategies, and owning the work and plan. In Part 2, I will look at the middle five reasons: doing right things the right way, using time wisely, being productive, managing conflict well, and utilizing team strengths. In Part 3, I will share the final five reasons. Consider the following:
- ADDRESSING TEAM WEAKNESSES. Effective Sunday School teams, stop regularly to evaluate their work and progress on goals. This naturally leads to the need for adjustment. Individual leaders and the team as a whole value their work and are willing to do what it takes to give God, His people, and their communities/world their best effort.
- RESPONDING TO GOOD OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHANGE. Seize the moment when appropriate. If God sends a new leader, start a new class. When God sends families with special needs children, start a ministry. But ensure that whatever your team does is helping to carry out your vision and goals rather than distracting from them.
- TEAM STABILITY. An veteran Sunday School team can accomplish much together. When team turnover is frequent, it can be a sign of burnout or dissatisfaction. Stop to evaluate. Ensure you are affirming and caring for your team. Work to avoid loss of momentum and experience.
- WORKING BEYOND JOB DESCRIPTIONS. An effective Sunday School team works together. The work is more important than who gets credit. Concern is more for progress than for doing the minimum required of me. That starts by a team evaluating, dreaming, and planning together so they “own” the work as a team. Everyone is in it together.
- BUILDING STRONG TEAM SKILLS. This may take time, but not every group is a team. Leaders must help the group build team skills. I recommend an annual growth planning retreat and monthly growth planning meetings. Get everyone involved. Don’t announce goals and plans; develop them together. If help is needed, invite denominational or business leaders to help develop a plan for building team skills.
Evaluate your Sunday School (or your class). Which of these five reasons for effectiveness is a strength of your group? Which is in need of help and attention? Review Part 1 and Part 2 to consider all 15 reasons. Be a team. Make disciples. Be revolutionary!