If you had your first CE planning committee to do over again, what would you do differently? Our church was just approved to go rotation by the admin board. The CE team met before we went to the board with this idea, but our discussions were more general in nature until we got approval. Our first real planning meeting is this Wednesday. Does anyone have suggestions on what should be covered first? And in hindsight, is there anything that you wish you planned for from the beginning? We have to plan everything from teacher recruiting and training to converting the rooms, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Original Post
Hi Nikki
Congratulations on getting to the starting line!
You are right when you say you have a lot of stuff ahead of you.
Here are some thoughts:
1. Who on your committee/team wants to spearhead in a specific area? (curriculum development, recruiting, rooms, etc.) Who has a passion for what? Identify these folks and empower them to move ahead, once the following have been determined:
a. what ages in the WoRM?
b. What curriculum will we use and what is the scope and sequence?
c. What workshops can we realistically create in our time frame? ( for example, a computer lab may or may not be workable in the first "go-round")
d. What is the name of our program? While that may seem secondary it really can provide a framework and inspiration in new directions.
e. What are our goals for this new program? What do we hope to accomplish?
f. What will Sunday morning look like for the kids? How will they get from point A to point B? Is there a gathering time? etc.
g. Write position descriptions for workshop leaders and shepherds; it makes recruiting easier when it is all new.
h. Think outside the box and make a list of folks who can be invited to help. I had an 80 year old man who was delighted to create a shadow puppet stage for our Book of Acts but he never would have volunteered to teach Sunday School!
i. how will you communicate and publicize what you are doing and why? It's not just parents who need to know.
j. what resources are in our community, in print, on the web that can give direction and help? Are there other churches near you to visit and ask for advice?

One of the things that worked really well for me when I was beginning was to get a few people excited about creating decor in a specific workshop room. My committee chose the room names and then gave these people an outline of what would be done in each room. Each person recruited a friend or two to help and they went to town. The whole experience was a joy for me personally because of how well everyone worked together and had such fun! We had kids helping with painting a rainbow, a young couple with no kids created our Signs and Wonders room complete with camel, and a high school student did the painting of "The Mouse Pad".

The framework that makes it all hang together needs to be created first, and then go from there. If the program foundation is in place and strong you will be able to build great things from there.
Good luck and have a great time!
Jan Snell
A few things I've learned the hard way....

Definitely set goals --and then keep reminding people in the first year or two WHY you changed. People forget. Tell your story.

Make sure you ASSIGN responsibilities, and set deadlines for tasks.

Get every workshop design IN WRITING in front of the committee so no one can come back later and say "we didn't know about that." Get it approved by "the system."

There are some people who are happy to approve the change, but won't give you the hours needed to MAKE the change. Make sure they are willing to commit time.

Make sure the same people aren't doing everything.

Don't be surprised when you discover that you need other stuff you didn't budget for. Example: We cleaned out our old Sunday School only to discover we lacked enough age appropriate Bibles. Bibles ain't cheap.

Talk about the nature of CE in the church. It is a "given" that at any time you will probably feel like you could be doing more (and sometimes need to resist this impulse), and that it is rarely possible to get everything running smoothly at the same time.

<>< Neil

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