Why do our children receive report cards or progress reports? They indicate at least three things: (1) how the child is doing, (2) how the teacher is doing, and (3) how the school is doing. They affirm progress that has been made each year. They highlight areas of excellence and areas needing improvement. They help identify areas where adjustments by the student, by the teacher, and by the school can produce beneficial results.
In a similar way, regular progress reports to the church about the Sunday School can be beneficial. They are even more beneficial in revolutionary Sunday School which annually prays, evaluates, identifies needs/dreams, prioritizes, sets goals, makes plans, and takes steps all year long toward accomplishing those plans. What are the specific benefits of an annual Sunday School report? What kind of information could an annual report include?
BENEFITS. In order to avoid as much redundancy as possible, I will be generic in this section and more specific in the next. Consider these benefits of an annual report of goals, plans, and progress:
- serves as a great history of what God has done during the year;
- serves a means of affirmation for the classes, Sunday School, and the church;
- brings about natural accountability to accomplish goals since a progress report will be shared;
- promotes the benefits, values, and work of effective Sunday School; and
- informs key church leaders (finance, building, nominating, etc.) about progress which may require their attention in the days ahead.
INFORMATION. Obviously each report will be unique based upon the context, goals, etc. Consider these suggestions for inclusion in your annual Sunday School progress report:
- totals and changes in enrollment, attendance, classes, and teachers/workers since last report
- totals of contacts, guests, new members, losses, and teachers/workers trained;
- summary of goals;
- steps and progress toward achieving the goals;
- testimonies/stories of classes and events;
- evaluation of current status of facilities to accommodate expected growth;
- and more.
Let me make one final observation: an annual report assumes that you gather your leadership team together on an annual basis to evaluate and plan and then gather on a periodic basis to check up on progress. That presupposes time and effort to make this happen, but progress is much more likely to happen as a result.
When was the last time you shared a “state of the Sunday School” report? What did you include in your report? Did you realize any benefits from sharing and/or preparing the report? Pray. Evaluate. Plan. Work together. Share progress reports. Be revolutionary!