Coaching Helps Sunday School Teachers Stay Balanced and on Target

Friday 30th November, 2007

It is a wonderful thing when the body is functioning as it is supposed to function--when all of our systems are working correctly: digestive, respiratory, immune, circulatory, nervous, muscular, skeletal, etc. Growth happens best when the body is experiencing health and not having to spend additional energy dealing with injury, disease, or sickness.

The nervous system tends to direct much of the automatic functions within the body to seek or balance health. Without that central source of response and balance, every system would look out for itself to the detriment of other systems. For instance, after eating more blood flows to the digestive system (making us sleepy). But what if the circulatory system did not cooperate?

Sunday School is similar to a body. It functions best when all of the systems are working together and when it is able to adjust according to the current needs. In yesterday's post, I shared about what a "win" would look like in Sunday School. One of ways to help Sunday School classes stay on target and avoid getting out of balance is for teachers to be coached. I have written about coaching before: Pastors and Sunday School Directors as Coaches and Mentoring, Apprenticing, and Coaching for Revolutionary Sunday School.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned a set of Adult Small Group Leader expectations that had focused on what a "win" would look like. In that job description is a series of "Coaching Questions." I encourage you to check out the whole job description. Here are a few of the questions you can find there:

General/Personal Questions: How are you? What are you celebrating? What challenges are you facing? How will you tackle those challenges? How can I help you? How can I pray for you? (Good questions for almost any relationship!)

Reproducing Leaders and Groups Questions:  Do small group members embrace the vision of being a reproducing group? When was the last time you met with your apprentice? What did you discuss? How is your apprentice taking an increasing leadership role? (I might would add, "When will your group and apprentice be ready to birth another group?")

Connecting the Unconnected Questions: Are new people being invited into the group? Are they attending? Why or why not? Has your group participated in any events designed to connect new people into the group? How did it go? How is the group host doing at providing effective hospitality for group gatherings? (Last question is more applicable to home groups but could be directed toward greeters in a Sunday School class.)

Developing Christ Followers Questions: Are group members becoming increasingly comfortable in sharing their lives in your group? What next steps are group members taking? Are they being challenged? What is the group doing to serve and reach out to others outside the group? How is the group interacting and caring for one another? (I might would add, "What evidences of their growth as disciples and application of the Word have you seen in group members' lives?)

What questions would you add to this list? Can you imagine the benefit of these questions? Can you see how coaching could encourage a teacher to pursue the target and to be m ore balanced in his/her approach and work? Accountability can be positive, and co aching is a great way to do so! Enlist and train coaches for every 3 or 4 teachers. Ask them to meet with their teachers 2-4 times per year. Watch as effectiveness increase s and God blesses! Be revolutionary!

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