Can You Hear Me Now?

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Putting Words to Work

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Now that you’ve got the feedback, what do you do with it? How do
you assess it? How do you use it?

• Look at it with a positive attitude. Don’t be
afraid of negative comments. Look at feedback — positive and
negative — as a gift that’ll help your ministry grow. Even in the
most extreme criticism, there’s usually at least a grain of truth.
Don’t get defensive. Remember that parents are on your side. They
want to make the ministry better for their kids just as you
do.

• Analyze it. Is any of the feedback based on an
isolated incident? Have you received similar feedback from other
parents? Is the feedback reasonable? Is any of it from someone who
has an agenda? Will acting on the feedback benefit your ministry as
a whole? And finally, does the feedback — and any subsequent
actions you might take as a result of it — line up with the
mission and vision of your church?

• Create an action plan. Once you’ve analyzed the
feedback, determine what exactly you’ll do with it. If you plan to
implement changes, set a plan and time frame to move forward.

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• Use the feedback as a valuable part of strategic
planning.
The information you gather — whether or not you
plan to take action on it — is valuable to keep and consider as
you look forward to the future of your ministry. Organize feedback
in a system that works for you (perhaps as short-, medium-, and
long-term goals or as other modes for improvement such as training,
safety, travel flow, and more). This pool of organized information
will assist you dramatically in strategic planning.

• Communicate to parents the changes you’re
making.
When you implement a new idea or plan that’s the
result of parent feedback, publicize it. Communicate the change in
a letter, email, newsletter, or take-home paper.

Listening to parents and gathering feedback is a must for any
children’s ministry that truly wants to partner with parents.
Parents want to partner with you and give you valuable insight,
ideas, and suggestions. They’re just waiting for you to ask!
cm

Dale Hudson is co-author of Turbo-Charged: 100 Simple
Secrets to Successful Children’s Ministry (Group) and the
children’s ministry director for Central Christian Church in Las
Vegas, Nevada.

     

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