Think about last year's study. What was it? What was the topic? How well did your students grasp the materials and apply the lessons in them to their lives? These are important questions we must ask ourselves every year as we plan our next event because we do not want to get stuck in the past but we do want to learn any needed lessons from it before moving forward. But you may be asking, "What lessons can I possibly learn from last years D Now? " Well there are quite a few actually. First of all you can learn from your mistakes. Maybe you had poor planning and the schedule was thrown all off. Maybe your leaders were not trained well enough and the small groups were not successful. Something else I have seen happen is that people went with a certain publisher whose style did not work well for their group. Whatever it is mistakes will be made and we need to learn from them so that we can learn from them and not repeat them.
Another thing we can learn from the past is where are students have been and where they are now. This will help us as we choose our d now material for this year. Ideally your students grow to a point where they need a more in depth and advanced study every year. But it is very possible that nothing stuck from the year before and you may want to consider repeating the same study until your students get it. This idea may get a lot of push back but it may be worth the headaches.
So how do you go about this? First of all after every D Now weekend you need to have everyone involved fill out surveys. This way you have feedback on file from a variety of sources with a variety of different viewpoints that can help you get a good picture of what happened last year and where you need to head this year. The other thing you need to do is talk to people who were involved, especially students, in the days leading up to your event to find out how the weekend went and how well received the material you used was. Then you can make a more informed decision about what d now material to use this go around.
We always want to be moving forward in ministry but we cannot effectively do that if we do not remember exactly where we have been. Take some time as you plan your D Now weekend this year and choose your resources so that you can learn from your mistakes and successes and know what steps to take in the future.