Keeping Your Program From Derailing


Use these helpful tools to keep your teachers on

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Are your teachers on track? If not, your entire program could
end up in a massive derailment. Use this 10-question “Pop Quiz” and
teacher training meeting to keep your program from jumping the


1. Why are you working in children’s ministry?

a. Because no one else will do it.
b. Because someone asked me.
c. Because this is my ministry.

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2. How is your spiritual life?

a. I manage to pray before meals sometimes.
b. I have my ups and downs.
c. I’m excited about serving God, and I’m growing spiritually.

3. Do you have goals for yourself and your children’s ministry

a. No, I never thought about it.
b. Yes, but I need to focus more on them.
c. Yes, I know exactly where we’re heading and how we’ll get

4. Do you understand the age and spiritual maturity of the
children in your class?

a. No, I never thought it really made a difference.
b. Yes, but I’m not sure what difference it makes in my
c. Yes, I take advantage of learning all I can about these

5. Do you use different teaching methods in order to reach
different learning styles?

a. I’m best at teaching the same way all the time.
b. What’s a learning style?
c. Yes, I use different approaches in teaching.

6. Do you build relationships with the children by showing
interest in them individually?

a. Who has time?
b. I don’t know how.
c. I enjoy the kids and care for them as individuals.

7. Do you build in time for response during your lessons?

a. Not unless my curriculum says to.
b. How exactly do I do that?
c. I always have time for kids to respond.

8. Do you seek to know where children are in their faith

a. That’s such a private matter.
b. If it comes up, we talk about it.
c. I always give children time to talk about their faith and how
it relates to their life.

9. Do you have a plan to reach out to other kids to get them
involved in your class?

a. I’m not very good at that kind of stuff.
b. I depend on the kids to ask other kids.
c. I’m currently in touch with several kids to encourage them to
join our class.

10. Do you have a discipline plan that works well in your

a. You bet I do! And kids are afraid for me to use it!
b. Not really. But things seem to be working okay.
c. Yes. We have a few rules for our class, and I enforce
consequences consistently.


If you marked mostly “c,” congratulations. You’re on the right
track most of the time. Keep on moving and remember to look to God,
the Engineer, to help you change kids’ lives.

If you marked mostly “b,” you probably feel sidetracked some of
the time. Pull your train into the station for retooling with
consistent teacher training.

If you marked mostly “a,” you may feel you’re about to derail.
And you’re not alone. This is how most teachers feel. Choose one or
two areas you’d like to grow in and ask your Sunday school
coordinator or children’s pastor to help you become stronger in
those areas.


1. Planning for the Trip-Photocopy and cut
apart a “Ticket to Terrific Teaching” card for each teacher. Wear a
conductor’s hat, overalls, and a bandanna to this meeting. Use a
train whistle to get teachers’ attention during the meeting.

2. All Aboard-When teachers arrive, form trios.
Have teachers work together in their trios to make a list of 10
qualities of a good teacher, such as devoted, fun, energetic,
responsible, prayerful, and loving. When they’re done, have
teachers call out qualities they’ve listed. Note on a sheet of
newsprint the qualities mentioned.

3. Luggage Check-Give each teacher a photocopy
of the “Pop Quiz” from page XX and a pencil. Have teachers each
take the quiz. Encourage them to answer honestly. Afterward, have
teachers pair up with a traveling companion. Have companions each
tell a strong area they can praise God for in themselves and a weak
spot where they’d like help or prayer. Have partners pray

4. The Conductor Says-Go through each question
on the “Pop Quiz.” Lead teachers in discussing why “c” is the best
answer for each question. Ask teachers to tell their secrets to
success in each area.

5. Tickets, Please-Set out photocopies of the
“Ticket to Terrific Teaching” cards. One at a time, have teachers
give another teacher a ticket and say, “Our children’s ministry is
on track because you…” Make sure everyone receives a ticket.


  • Cost: Dedication and sacrifice
  • Destination: Reaching children for Jesus
  • Fuel Source: God’s guidance through the Holy
  • Jesus: Don’t Leave Home Without Him!


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Children's Ministry Magazine

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