It’s almost impossible to overestimate the value of children’s ministry in your church. You can have an inspiring vision, outstanding worship services, and strong outreach ministries etc., but if your children’s ministry isn’t vibrant, the people won’t come back.
More than one mom and dad has said their kids actually cry if they don’t get to go to our children’s ministry on Sunday! It’s never our goal for kids to cry under any circumstance, but that’s a pretty good sign you are doing something right within kids ministry when the children want to be there that much!
I think we sometimes try to overcomplicate children’s ministry. It is a big job and there is a lot to it, but if you focus on five core elements you can build a world class children’s ministry that will help you strengthen your church.
Here are the five elements:
Few things trump the safety of children. If you don’t get this right you don’t get to do anything else. From check in and security to a safe and clean physical environment, it’s essential that you do this well. It’s critical that you win the confidence of parents.
Once moms and dads know the environment is safe, they want to know you care about their kids. It may sound obvious to say that loving the kids is important, but I have learned that we can’t take that for granted when recruiting volunteers to serve in kids ministry. Too often churches are just looking for warm bodies to help out. Pray for and select volunteers who genuinely love the kids!
Recruiting leads to training. In fact, recruiting and training are the two core skills of any one who is the leader of your children’s ministry. High quality, ongoing, and consistent training is a non-negotiable for your children’s team.
Note: Always start with background checks in the recruiting / training process.
The first three elements, (safety, love and training) are all preparation for the purpose of Children’s ministry – teaching kids about the love of God. They need to know Jesus, what the Bible says and how much Jesus loves them! Few things are more exciting than seeing a child begin to understand and embrace how much God loves them.
Now we come full circle to where we started. Kids crying only if they can’t go to your children’s ministry, not while they are in it! Make it fun. Everyone loves to have fun. The parents do, the kids do and the adult volunteers love it too! It’s not only ok to enjoy the experience, it’s key to your success. Be creative and enjoy the time you have with the kids!
Children’s ministry is one of the best-kept secrets to a healthy and growing local church! I highly encourage you to do your very best in children’s ministry and you’ll be glad you did!