1. Take Notes
Carry a small notebook (or your smartphone) with you whenever you are supervising (or perhaps anytime you are at church).
Take notes as people talk to you, so questions asked or ideas given won’t get lost. Review and address these items weekly!
2. Send a Monday Morning Email
Every Monday, while weekend events are still fresh in staff members’ minds, send an e-mail to each age-level coordinator or team leader similar to this:
“Please respond in one or two sentences for each category below:
- I’ve made progress with in…
- I’m having difficulty with…
- I need a decision from you concerning…
- I’m thankful for…
Please reply to me by noon on Wednesday. Thank you for all you do!”
Communication will flow freely and problems can be handled early on.
3. Have An “In Basket”
Place an “in basket” and individual or age-level “out baskets” at a designated (and well-publicized) spot so teachers can leave items for you and can check for items left for them.
4. Plan the Year
Develop a comprehensive calendar every year.
Include all events (teacher recruiting events, training events, holiday events, registration, children’s events, etc.), quarter beginnings and endings, curriculum ordering deadlines, major maintenance items (paint a room, deep cleaning, etc.), staff vacations, and so on.
5. Create a To-Do List for Each Month
From that calendar, work backward to create a standard to-do list for each month.
For instance, if you expect to hold a Family Advent Night in early December, add securing the appropriate facilities to your June list.
Add recruiting activity leaders and a coordinator to your September list.
Add publicity and requests for donations to your October and November lists.
TIP: Remember, the larger the church, the earlier you need to begin planning and recruiting!
6. Open Your Mail Near a Trash Can
Only handle incoming mail once. Open mail with a trash can and Post-it Notes at hand. Add a Post-it Note to anything that needs to go to another person. Respond to the mail only you can handle. And then throw out what is not needed.
Be extremely selective about what you keep!
7. Build a Binder
Build a binder of essential policies and procedures that is updated each year and passed on to new leaders as needed.
Purge your files once a year to eliminate anything that is no longer current. Or purge a file whenever you are preparing to add to it!
8. Use Your Mission Statement to Prioritize
Refer often to your mission statement and use it to evaluate what you plan to do. Otherwise, you may get sidetracked and lose focus, causing your volunteers to become stressed.
9. Learn to Say No
Learn to say no or “we could look at this idea for another time (next quarter, etc.).”
Affirm the person who shared the idea but remain focused on the plans you have already made.
10. Enlist a Point Person for Major Events
When planning a major event or activity, select a point person for that specific event. Let everyone know that this person is the one to contact.
This eliminates you having to field questions and dispense information for every activity that comes along.
Content adapted from Gospel Light’s Children’s Ministry Smart Pages.