WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? In the book, One Hundred, David Francis writes that “the purpose of this book is to provoke conversations about the 100 little things that can be done better.” Conversations allow people to think and process thoughts. The opportunity to process thoughts through conversation can bring people a sense of agreement about actions that produce incremental positive changes in the life of a church.
One key ingredient to make this happen is for the leaders of the group to do regular and effective evaluation of their practices. Remember the cliché definition of insanity is “to do the same thing the same way and expect different results.” One Hundred gives measurements and principles to evaluate against.
WHAT DO I DO? How do effective Sunday School/small group leaders evaluate their work?
- Prayerfully seek to establish a culture of evaluation. This isn’t criticism time as much as an honest look at what has been done well and what needs to be done better. Ask the question, “can we talk openly and honestly about this emphasis, or this event, or a system in the group and not get personal about people, but talk about how to make our group a better place to see life transformation and see the multiplication of leaders and disciples?”
- Gather your team either on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly) to look intentionally at what your group is doing, how you are doing, what is going well, and what improvements can be made. Rmember to schedule time after events or special emphases to do the same.
- Make a list of the good things that the group is doing. Share those with the group. Celebrate!
- Intentionally talk about needs of the group and needs of the community and ways the group might prayerfully get involved.
- Once you are having these open and honest conversations about group effectiveness, begin to establish priorities for the group. These also act as accountability measurements for the group.
- Make the evaluation time and process one of prayer and seeking what God’s Spirit wants to accomplish with your group.
Evaluation can be a tough practice for people who are overly sensitive or territorial. That makes it very important to spend time as a leadership group praying about your group and their needs. Dependence on God’s Spirit is critical. Work at building a loving, trusting atmosphere.
What your group is doing is important enough for you to be intentional about evaluating your work!