It’s that time of year again. Depending on when your children promote to their new classes (I’ve heard of promotion occuring anywhere between June and September) your church is likely winding the current Sunday school year down. Your teachers are starting to reflect on the year that was – all of the good times, the hard times, and the crazy times with children that they get to see, teach, and know once a week every week for one full year.
Chances also are that you have quite a few volunteers who serve as lead or assitant teachers. What do you do to appreciate them? The end of the year is a natural time to show your teachers that you do, indeed, appreciate all of the hard work, planning, and time commitment that they have put in to this Sunday school year. If you are a children’s minister of director, what do you do about that?
Sunday School teacher appreciation is important!Here are just a few ideas that can work together and/or separate. Whatever you do for your teachers to show them appreciation, please, do something!
Ideas for Apprecating your Sunday School Teachers
1. Give a free appreciation lunch – Serving a free lunch is a simple and effective way to let your teachers know that you care. Some churches have the luxury of having a kitchen and/or a chef that can prepare food. Other churches may be so small that the children’s minister or director may just have to go pick up a bucket of chicken. Whatever your situation, there is no excuse for not being able to serve your teachers one free lunch a year. Whether your ministry area or yourself incurs the cost, it is a cost that will be well worth it to plan a simple Sunday School appreciation day.
2. Acknowledge each one your teachers publicly – Whatever forum you choose, whether it be a lunch, banquet, or meeting, take time to publicly acknowledge every one of your teachers. Have them stand next to you, put your arm around them and give one or two reasons to the rest of the people in the room what makes that teacher so special.
3. Give your teachers a gift – And give them one that they will actually use. In the past, our church used to give our teachers little “Jesus junk trinkets.” You know the ones I’m talking about: the little pens, coffee mugs, or “holy” book lights that have Bible verses on them. While these are nice thoughts, most teachers really don’t need these type of gifts, nor will they use them. Last year our church gave each teacher a $5 gift card from Chick-Fil-A. They loved it! Try to think outside of the box when it comes to gifts for Sunday School teacher appreciation
4. During a meeting, give them a charge – Tell them how integral they are to your ministry and give them a vision for the next year. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” If you are the leader, think about where you want the ministry to be next year and what you’d like to focus on and announce that to your teachers. This will energize them for the new year.
Most teachers don’t expect much when it comes to apprecation. Many are teaching Sunday School because they feel called. They are willing to serve with little recognition or appreciation. They are volunteers. But by doing just a few simple acts of appreciation, you’ll energize your volunteer base and perhaps endear them to your leadership. Don’t forget, if you are the leader of your ministry, you are also the lead servant. Take time to serve those who serve your ministry by appreciating them publicly.
What about you? What are some ideas that you’ve tried that work for Sunday School teacher appreciation?