Before You Hit The Beach . . .

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My vacation packing ritual always includes some household chores. I can’t stand the thought of coming home from summer paradise to face a messy house and dirty dishes. Church is no different. Before you shift gears for the summer, I suggest you start on seven little chores that will help make next season a success:
 
Check in with leaders
Is everyone still smiling and on board for next year? After you thank teachers and celebrate their ministry this season, it’s natural to ask, “Can I count you in for next year?” Take the time to listen to your leaders and find out what they liked and didn’t like about this season. Enlist their ideas for improvement. If there is a better fit for their gifts, offer them a new role. If they need to take a break, send them off with a smile and a word of encouragement. 
 
Save the date
Schedules fill up quickly, so choose dates for next fall’s Sunday school kick-off, parent orientation, and teacher training while there is still some room on the church calendar! 
 
Order now!
If you already know you are sticking with the same curriculum next year, place a standing order so you won’t forget. There’s nothing like the panic you feel when a teacher says, “Hey, when will I get my Sunday school book?” and you realize you haven’t ordered the new material! You can always call in to adjust the number after you count the new kids in the fall.  
 
Revise the forms
Update the paperwork and safety procedures to include the most current information for Sunday school registration, volunteer applications, and abuse prevention policies. Stack and store the forms for use next season.  
 
Test the supplies
The best prices on glue sticks, crayons, and other Sunday school staples will come in the fall with the back to school rush. For now, recruit a few kids to help you test markers, discard dried Play-Doh, and count crayons and other supplies that are worth keeping. Use your list to stop you from over-buying when the new season starts.  
 
Enlist new leaders
As your summer programs begin, look for ways to include people who don’t usually serve in children’s ministry. They may just get hooked and stick around! 
 
Daydream
As you soak up the sun (wearing SPF 30 and UV protected glasses, of course) set aside some time to remember the highs and lows of this Sunday school season. Revisit your ministry goals—the ones you have written down, and the ones deep within your heart. Do they still reflect your passions and your church’s sense of calling? Where have you seen progress? Where is there room for growth? Begin to pray for God’s leading, direction, and provision for the new ministry season. Then daydream a little—wonder and imagine what God might have in mind for the next time around. He is able to do immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine!
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