10. Take your Religious Educator out for some fresh air every day. Long stays in the RE office surrounded by craft sticks and battery candles makes them frustrated and likely to drink pots of coffee directly from the carafe.
9. Bring your Religious Educator the entire list of craft supplies needed for the lesson to be taught well before Saturday night at 9:43 pm. While some stores are open this late, your Religious Educator is sure to be filling the slots of teachers who are sick and finding a great children's message for the outside speaker who "forgot" to prepare a story.
8. Remember, be careful not to pile huge loads of miscellaneous junk and building supplies in RE classrooms! Your Religious Educator still has that bad back from slipping on the stairs in the dark at the last youth group overnight on the way to brew coffee at 5:59 am! You don't want to aggravate that nasty injury!
7. When your Religious Educator begins screaming at the computer screen for the fifth time in 10 minutes, be sure to help recruit some volunteers to staff the game night or the spaghetti dinner as surely there have been six people who have changed their plans and can't help now that the weather forecast has taken a turn for the better!
6. During coffee hour, when the line to speak with your Religious Educator is winding out the door and past the parking lot, bring that trooper a nice cup of coffee! Remember, an IV drip for your Religious Educator's coffee just might be necessary given the constant need to answer questions, stop children from committing murder and plan meetings.
5. If you see your Religious Educator sit down and actually begin to enjoy the Sunday Service, be a dear and gently go over and shake them awake, the sleeplessness has surely taken over and you know they need to go check to be certain that the class full of the especially squirrley girls hasn't decided to make duct tape teacher traps instead of duct tape wallets.
4. To promote the longest possible length of employment for your Religious Educator, remember not to ask them what they do for their real career! This will make them grumble and wonder just what that Master's Level credentialing is all for, anyway!
3. Should your Religious Educator ask about taking a Sunday off, remember, don't say "But you just had a Sunday off last year!" Oh, no, no! Sit patiently by while the Religious Educator notices how much easier it is to just work on Sunday than to cover all those tasks.
2. If your Religious Educator begins to look crispy around the edges in September, October or November it's a sure sign of "START-UP BURN OUT!" Immediately remove all extra responsibilities from their four foot long "TO DO" list and bring the best chocolate available locally, administer in large doses. If smoke begins to come out of their ears, you might as well form a search committee, you've accidentally fried one.
And the number one thing to remember in the care and feeding of your Religious Educator:
1. Always, always hold a weekly meeting in the Fireside room overlooking the water--include the Religious Educator and other staff who love and care for the church and the children as much as they do. If you can, bring cookies. Laugh a little, cry a little and remind that Religious Educator that things that are worth doing are often pretty damn hard to do.