Below are the questions asked by participants in the workshop “Transform and Grow Your RE Program,” a workshop I led at the Pacific Central District annual meeting on April 28, 2012. (First post in this series.)
Questions about tracking attendance
(1) Under “policy governance,” should religious education [RE] attendance numbers be shared with the Board? (every month?) — the congregation? — or just the executive team?
I don’t think it matters whether you’re using “policy governance” or any other kind of governance, I believe we should share attendance figures as widely as possible. In my congregation, I report RE attendance every month to the Board, key staffers, the RE committee, and the Committee on Ministry. Attendance figures for the year always go in the annual report, which goes to all congregational members. I also sometimes report attendance to parents/guardians and volunteers.
One key strategy for transforming a congregational system is building in as many positive feedback loops as possible. Positive feedback loops are those ways that people learn how things are going, and that they receive good feelings when things are going well (negative feedback loops are destructive communications like malicious gossip, triangulation, scolding, meanness, etc.). So as a general principle, I say we should be building lots of positive feedback loops all the time, especially with crucial metrics as attendance figures.
(2) Can we see a sample of the spreadsheet you use to track enrollment and average attendance?
Here’s a PDF of our Excel attendance spreadsheet for April, 2012, at the UU Church of Palo Alto: REAttendSample.xls
Unfortunately, I cannot share the spreadsheet we use to track enrollment, as it contains the names and birthdates of legal minors. Continue reading “Transform and grow your RE program, questions”