Peggy Markham emailed me this question. I thought you might have some advice for her.

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I'm a new Sunday School Superintendant taking bold steps in changing our SS program to WoRM. I've bought books, gathered information, distributed it to the teachers, trained myself and am trying to prepare for the meeting on Sunday. I was wondering how should I respond to the suggestion of "Let's try it until December and if it doesn't work then we'll think of something else.".

How long should a church give this model? 6 months? A year? I'm all for adopting it and making it work, but others want a back door and I'm afraid if there is a back door, then the back door is back to the old ways. If we give ourselve an "out", the tendancy is to not work as hard or to commit.

God Bless

Peggy Markham, Main Street United Methodist Church, Bedford, VA

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Exchange Volunteer retitled post for clarity.
Original Post
welcome to the club! What I did when I was working on switching over to WoRM was to arrange for some of the teachers to visit some churches in our area (Maryland) that are using the workshops on a Sunday so we could see the model in action. Then we talked to some of the teachers and the DCE after classes. Got lots of good information and most importantly the teachers I brought with me were very impressed. If you have VBS this model is similar to that set up - the kids rotate. Then we did a four week "sample" workshop during the summer. Admittedly attendance was low but parents, children and prospective teachers got the idea. It was really an easy sell. The pastor here is totally behind it and likes just about everything I suggest. I have a dream position I know but we love this model and will be going into our third year in September. Good luck.
We introduced the model to three grade levels (3rd=5th) to cover this problem. It has been so successful that we will now introduce it to K-2nd in the fall. I think there are many, many people who cannot understand this model until they see it in action -- changing the entire Sunday school program at once for an "unknown way" can be scary and people will resist. I'm not sure what you have already committed to or if you are still in the planning stages, but perhaps this could be an option for you as well. Personally I would not like the idea of giving it a try for half a school year at all! It seems that the risk of doing a disservice to the children in mid-year would be pretty high -- confusing, dissappointing, etc...
If you could get them to commit to an entire year with a few grade levels, and you get it up and running, you will have them hooked and can expand the following year! Best wishes to you in your meeting tomorrow!
I can sympathize with your concern about people's reaction. You might ocnsider my friend's response to people who want to give things a specific length of time. When approached with a comment like that, she simply responds, "that's a thought, but for now let's give this our best efforts and see how it works. We will be evaluating it along the way and making any necessary changes that will make it work for our situation." She'll smile and continue, "If you have concerns along the way, please let me know so that we can address them."

Honestly, 99% of the time, it will work!

Good luck with the meeting!

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