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Gather Your Class for Evaluation of Strengths and Needs

strengthsWHY 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?

  1. 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?”
  2. 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.
  3. Make a list of the good things that the group is doing. Share those with the group. Celebrate!
  4. Intentionally talk about needs of the group and needs of the community and ways the group might prayerfully get involved.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Ministering to Members

WHY IS THIhighexpectationsS IMPORTANT? When a group takes care of those within the group, they can be a great blessing to the Lord and their church. A mother was diagnosed with cancer. She had two school-age children, and she and her husband both worked to make ends meet. Over a three-month period, their group dug in to help the family through this difficult time. First there were visits and then a call for group members to bring food every night. As the family burden increased, the group developed a plan to take the kids to school, pick them up, and drop them at the house when dad got home from work. The group even helped with the family’s house payment. The mom survived her bout with cancer, and the entire group was forever changed because of the experience.

WHAT DO I DO? Not every ministry experience tracks well. Here are a few mistakes to avoid:

  • Assuming someone else will do it – A group failed to visit a member who had lost her mother because everyone thought some knew her better and would make the contact. Ultimately no one made the contact and the woman left the group and church hurt.
  • Being unclear on expectations – Sometimes we ask for volunteers and fail to make ministry expectations clear. Or the person we are helping expresses a need and we misunderstand.
  • Not listening – Often we are too busy doing the ministry to listen. Many times the best ministry is just listening.
  • Poor communication – Sometimes we drop the ball because we do not communicate well.