Guidelines For Sunday School Evaluation -- By: Richard E. Allison

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 14:0 (NA 1981)
Article: Guidelines For Sunday School Evaluation
Author: Richard E. Allison


Guidelines For Sunday School Evaluation

Richard E. Allison

Evaluation is asking the question, “Is God well served by what we are doing?”1

Usually this is asked either in a formative or a summative way. The former sees evaluation as integral to the process. The latter sees it as independent from the process and determines how effective something has been after it has been completed. It is judgmental in intent and raises defenses and closes down relationships. The formative method focuses on describing what is and, therefore, has the possibility of opening up joint exploration and sharing. It keeps us moving.

Formative evaluation declares that the participant is the primary source of information. It requires the thought forms of the participants. It avoids putting words in their mouths. Pre-evaluation is often employed to determine the categories. The problem one must contend with in formative evaluation is the tendency for respondents to be overly affirming.

In the Sunday school it is usually too threatening to evaluate persons who are volunteers. There are some exceptions to this as when they assist in design, develop ownership and in a sense request it.

Formative evaluation is continuous or at least a part of the loop. It is not something which is done at the conclusion. It serves to surface needs and/or to give new direction.

What follows is an experience in formative evaluation for the Sunday school to be completed by the nurture commission or Christian education committee of the congregation. It consists of five parts derived from church growth literature and covers the following areas.

  1. Leadership
  2. Planning
  3. Personnel
  4. Focus
  5. Outreach

Pastoral Leadership2

The pastor is the key person for growth in the local church. This does not mean that a pastor can make a church grow. A pastor must have the vision and earn the right to lead and the congregation must be willing to support him. Together they can accomplish great things.

1–1 Describe the leadership style of the pastor.3

1–2 List ways the pastor supports the work of the Sunday school.4

1–3 How can the relationship between the pastor and the Sunday school be improved?

Adequate Planning

The first requirement for adequate planning is to know what you want to accomplish. To identify ...

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