The World Health Organization defines life skills as “abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life." It is hard to imagine what it is like to navigate daily life without having important skills to make decisions, solve problems, manage feelings and stress, and communicate effectively.
Your church can offer life skills classes for a variety of topics: setting boundaries, coping with grief and stress, overcoming addiction etc.
Do initial research. If possible, do a need assessment for the intended participants. Find out what kinds of skills are most relevant and helpful for members of your community.
- Topics may include:
- Self-esteem and confidence-building skills
- Self-evaluation skills
- Anger management
- Coping skills for dealing with stress, lose, abuse, and trauma
- Time management
- Relaxation techniques
- Communication skills
- Active listening
- Conflict management
- Assertiveness skills
Set time and place. Decide how many classes you will offer and how often they will be conducted. Some churches offer a few life skill classes on a weeknight. You can also hold a series of classes over a month. You can have the classes at the Sunday School rooms or the church community center.
Define the format of the classes, e.g. lecture, dialogue/conversations, role-play, group work etc. Also, do participants need to pre-register for classes? Is there a limit for the number of participants in one class?
Determine budget and gather your resources. Will you need to raise funds to cover the costs for speakers and materials? Will you be able to offer the classes free of charge? Depending on the topic, see if you can enlist professionals to speak for free from support shelters, counseling centers, rehabilitation centers, or other non-profit organizations.
Advertise the classes you are offering to the community. Have contact information and details about the class printed on flyers.
- At the class, have name tags ready for participants. Take a brief time for introduction.
- Contact a professional counselor, in part to research the confidentiality regulations that might pertain to the class you have decided to host. Remind all workers/volunteers of all necessary rules and/or restrictions.
- Worksheets, guides, and handouts help keep the class interactive.