Sunday School Ministry — Succession Planning?


I am retiring this year as Sunday school coordinator at our church after a joyful decade in that role. I want to make sure the hand-off to our new coordinator is as smooth as possible — that I offer guidance/help where needed, while giving grace and space for the new coordinator to put her own leadership 'mark' on the program.

My question to teachers/co-ordinators is this: in what specific ways did your predecessor help you grow into your role? How did you wish s/he had helped that s/he didn't help? Or, if something s/he did impede the hand-off and made the path more difficult for you, what specifically do you wish s/he had done differently?

I want to 'end well' and 'send well' and I'd really welcome your input.

Thank you!

Deb F

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Deb, when I was a youth director and was leaving that position to move to a new city I left behind a three ring binder full of everything I could think of that would help make the transition easier for the new director. It included a list of people with (email addresses/phone numbers) that I often connected with for ideas and support, websites and resources that I found helpful, a timeline of our annual events and all the contact information for places we’d been and things we’d done, including fundraisers. I also left files of permission slip forms, templates for fliers, postcards, etc. I tried to provide everything that would be helpful to keep things moving forward, but I also tried to communicate that I understood he would make changes and do things his own way and I wished him the best!

When I came to my next church and began working with the Sunday school program it was helpful to me to know what materials they had used in the past, what the vision was for the program and why, what had worked and hadn’t in the past, and why they had chosen to do programing at certain times/days, etc. It was also helpful to learn a bit from the previous leader about the community, the things the church values, the neighborhood, etc., because I was fairly new to the church. I hope that helps! Many blessings to you in your next season of ministry! Praise God for the seeds you’ve planted and the lives you’ve helped to shape over the years!