The Importance of Feedback for Your Children's Ministry (And How to Give It and Gather It)

“Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers.”
John Gardener, Leadership Scholar

A healthy children's ministry team makes time to reflect and refocus through feedback.  Feedback is a vital part of team growth.  This includes giving feedback and gathering feedback.

Why it's important to give feedback to your volunteers...
  • It helps them grow as disciples. (Hebrews 10:24, Philippians 4:9)
  • It helps them live out the mission of your ministry.
  • It helps them become self-motivated learners.
  • It helps them feel valued and affirmed.
How to give feedback effectively...
  • Privately
  • Ongoing
  • Takes the person toward a goal
  • Based on relationship
  • Ask for permission
  • Use the word "and" instead of "but"
Wrong way - "You did a good job teaching, but your voice was monotone."
Right way - "You did a good job teaching and I think you can be even more effective if you vary your voice levels.")

How to gather feedback...
  • Build in a healthy rhythm to gather feedback from volunteers.
  • Gather feedback after events.
    • What went well?
    • What was missing?
    • What needs to be changed?
    • What needs to be added?
    • What needs to be dropped?
    • What will make it better?
  • Gather feedback from parents through focus groups.  See more about this here.
  • Gather feedback from guests through new family surveys.  See more about this here.
  • Gather feedback through online surveys. (
  • Gather balanced feedback.  Use a diverse group of people such as new families, families that have been in the church a long time, single parents, etc.
What to do with feedback...
  • Don't take it personal.  Everyone says they are teachable until there is a lesson to be learned.
  • Listen to it.
  • Thank them for it.
  • Work through it with your team.
  • Implement what will be helpful.
  • Use it to cast vision and redirect.  If you get feedback that goes against the vision or core values of your church, use it as a time to share with the person why you do what you do.
  • Loop back and let people know what you did with the feedback and any changes you were able to make.