Jun 26, 2013

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. (www.surveymonkey.com)
  • 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.