Create Meetings that Teachers Actually Want to Attend, Part 2

As promised in my last post, here are 5 more tips for a total of 10 tips to help you create leadership meetings that your Sunday School teachers will love attending.  Sunday School isn’t rocket science…you simply have to focus on the basics and do them really well…like blocking and tackling in football.  The Dallas Cowboys have been my favorite football team over the years (I grew up in Dallas-Ft. Worth) but last Sunday night during SNF the announcers noted that the Cowboys (with a record of 1-6) had to get back to the basics of blocking and tackling…nothing fancy, just the basics.  Here are 5 more tips that coupled with the 5 from my last post will give you 10 ways to do the basics that will lead to successful, ongoing leadership meetings at your church!

Tip #6 – Provide food.  Everybody likes to eat and drink, so budget for snacks in your Sunday School training budget.  You can be creative, and it really is less expensive than you think, but for teachers who are coming to a meeting right after a long day at work, they’ll need a little something in the tank to keep their minds focused during your meeting.  It’s perfectly fine to ask your leaders to sign up and bring snacks (maybe you can provide the drinks), but having food of some kind will definitely enhance your meeting and fellowship time together.

Tip # 7 – Don’t cancel the meetings…ever.  Consistency is the key, and if your teachers don’t think you value the meetings, they won’t either.  If you’re tired, have the meeting anyway.  If you’re not fully prepared, have the meeting anyway.

Tip #8 – Set aside an hour a day to prepare for the meeting.  If you’re going to create meetings that people look forward to attending, then you’re going to have to carve out time in your daily schedule to study, prepare, gather resources, and communicate with your leaders prior to the meeting.  You’ll never have success in crafting meaningful training experiences for your leaders if you plan the meeting a few hours before it takes place.  Once you place this hour-long prep time on your daily calendar, guard it with your life.  Say no to other meetings and requests for your time; fight to keep that time for your leaders, because they need you at your best every time you meet with them.

Tip #9 – Be on the lookout for new resources to share with your leaders.  Leaders like to learn new things, so keep your eyes peeled for resources that can be passed along to them during your meetings.  I liked to provide what I call a “microburst” message…a 5-10 minute intense leadership message that could help my leaders not only in their classrooms, but also in their workplaces.  I wanted to bring added value to them, and I frequently adapted material from books or video series I’d recently experienced; I also modified other leadership messages I’d heard online at Itunes (there are hundreds of free podcasts with all kinds of practical applications for teachers).  At other times I adapted material from books I was reading, or I simply crafted a leadership message of my own.

Tip #10 – Use a teacher covenant.  I would strongly recommend you include the expectation that all teachers will attend regular training meetings in your teacher covenant.  I’ve done this, and yes, it is risky when you implement it.  One summer a single adult Sunday School teacher refused to sign the covenant because he did not want to commit to attend regular training meetings.  I held my ground, loved him through his decision, but ultimately said goodbye to him as a leader in our adult Sunday School.  His class members weren’t happy with me, and we dropped in attendance for a time.  But the Lord brought a new teacher into the single adult ministry of our church, and in the three years he and I served together, he NEVER missed any leadership training opportunity I held.  Mike, the new teacher, became one of my all-time favorite teachers because of his commitment to training.  Mike had no problem signing the teacher covenant, and ultimately God brought me a stronger teacher and leader than the one I had.

I hope that some of the 10 tips I’ve shared may inspire you to try your hand at providing ongoing leadership meetings for your teachers.  Have the meetings weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually….just do something…because your Sunday School will benefit from anything you can do to train and equip your teachers.

If you have tips to share with the readers of this blog, be sure to post them for all to see…you may be able to expand on the things I’ve written and “put another bullet in the chamber” of the teachers who are reading this blog!

Thanks for dropping in!  Pass along this blog to a couple of friends, fellow leaders, teachers, or even your church staff.

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