On a busy Sunday morning—where sometimes the busyness begins even before we leave our homes—one of the most important principles of leading small can get lost. Be Present. Not just “there,” but present. Here are a few tips I’ve learned to help keep myself present physically and mentally.
BE PREPARED. For me, that process has to start much sooner than Sunday morning! It begins when I get that happy email from my leader with the lesson for that week. On the weeks that I am most fully engaged with my few on Sunday morning, I have started by taking time each day to really understand and engage with what my few will be learning on Sunday morning. When I do this during the week, on Sunday morning, my attention isn’t halfway on the paper with the activities on it, but is on my few and experiencing this with them.
GIVE MY PHONE A REST. I’ve also noticed that a great way to me to be present is for my phone to be absent! Ouch. I know I’m as addicted to that phone as the next guy, but in reality, I’m not so important that I have to know immediately if someone calls or texts me. Probably knowing if an email arrived can wait, but doing life with my few for that short time cannot wait.
IGNORE THE TO DO LIST… for an hour. When my Sunday afternoon is going to full of company or chores that must be done before the week begins, I have to consciously leave those thoughts and “to-do” lists in my car. To be present for my few, means I’m really listening to them, and what happened in their world over the past week. They need me to hear what concerns they have as they go into a new week. If my mind is full of how quickly I can get out the door and to the grocery store, then my stuff usually wins the competition for attention.
My preschool few live in a world of busy adults, and often they get the short end of the attention stick. For that little bit of time I share with them, I want them to know that I have learned how to “be present”.
How do you make sure you are present with your few?