St. Patrick’s day is a great way to introduce church history and teach your kids about an Irish missionary that carried the gospel message of Jesus Christ throughout Europe . You can do this with fun activities and lessons- I found some ideas worth sharing here.
Another way to recognize the Irish saint is to teach one of his very own object lessons… St. Patrick used the three leaf clover to explain the trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) to those he ministered to. What a great idea!
I encourage you to do your own exploring and find some truths about a man that we identify with leprechauns, four leaf clovers, and wearing green to avoid getting pinched. You may be surprised to learn about a very different man who was after God’s own heart, whose beliefs had nothing to do with little green men or the luck of the Irish and more to do with faith, hope and love. Click here to get started!
I found some children’s ministry material with a missions emphasis. I have yet to have the opportunity to utilize the free resources, but I was excited to come across it- there is alot of useful material for multiple settings and age groups. Just click on the above link and it will take you to free printable curriculum, both usable for home and church!
It is amazing what a few adjustments within the “face” of your children’s department will make to the eye. A little makeover is good for anyone and it doesn’t have to be costly. I will help you get started with 5 improvements that will keep heads turning… and this time, it’s not to avoid the smell of last weeks’ taco bell that is hidden under all those papers you meant to file.
ONE: GET RID OF THE TACO
… And everything else that presents itself as old, smelly and outdated. Block out your calendar for a week and clean, wash, wipe, toss, file and label until everything has a place. If you are the one that can’t find things when it actually gets put away… create an excel spreadsheet to help you track your resources. If the following words are foreign to you- clean, file, label, spreadsheet- find someone who thrives on organization (you know them), and they will be thrilled when you finally ask for their assistance.
TWO: RUN FOR PRESIDENT
… Or imagine that you are and need a campaign that will help you accomplish it. Promote your ministry with the attitude of someone who believes not in what he can do, but what he can accomplish through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Display your children’s department vision, mission and core values where it can be seen by parents and volunteers… on the website, in your ministry blog, on the back of t-shirts and in the bathroom stalls. During the elections, everyone is aware of the presidential candidates’ vision, mission and values… shouldn’t your church know where you stand for their kids?
… Volunteers can be reused, just give them a new look! The best thing that you can do for your children’s ministry is give your volunteers a makeover. Find creative ways to generate energy, restore morale, bring smiles to their faces and give them a sense of purpose. Do your part by providing them with the necessary resources in a timely manner, communicating your expectations and utilizing them where they can be a success in your ministry. Evaluate your leadership and make adjustments so that your volunteers will have the opportunity to minister to kids effectively. And put a smile on your face- it’s contagious!
FOUR: UPDATE YOUR TECHNOLOGY
… If you are still using tape decks and dinosaur computers, it might be time to bake your pastor some cookies. The best way to update your technology is to do your own research first. Find the best options and prices (ask around- there may be people in your church who can get discounts for you or other children’s/youth ministers who may know where you should look). If you are not tech savvy, your church’s youth pastor likely is. Don’t prolong the process, but set goals, get the job done and present the results of your research to your leadership aka the people who hand out the money. Be confident, communicate clearly and persuasively!
FIVE: THANK YOUR VOLUNTEERS AND CHURCH STAFF
.. They put up with you (you are great, but not that great), so a “thank you” would be profitable. In children’s ministry, it’s the most affordable and valuable method to communicate your appreciation. Not only is it effective, but it will go a long way. You can thank people individually by picking up the phone, sending a handwritten card or leaving them a sticky note. You may not be able to do this for every volunteer over one week, but set a timeline, keep track of who you have said “thank you” to, and value these two simple words that will take you far with your volunteers.
I hope I didn’t give you too much extra work, but you will thank me later! The bottom line… the presentation of your children’s department will speak more about your church than anywhere else. Everyone has the opportunity to raise the bar in their ministry and even those minor details will make all the difference to parents, volunteers and those short people you minister to. Have fun and let me know how it goes!
“Where there is no vision the people perish” – Proverbs 29:18
Where is your children’s ministry going? Before you steer a boat, you may want to know what direction to go in. A thriving children’s ministry will have a destination- the vision statement.
Vision is a vital part of leading children’s department leaders and volunteers. Vision will bring purpose and unity to volunteers. Vision will define your children’s ministry and help you steer your ship affectively.
Your children’s ministry vision should line up with the vision of your church, but be unique to your department. If your church focus is community, you may want to include that as part of your vision statement. If you have a missions’ church or outreach church, you should incorporate it also.
To help you get started here are a few vision statements from other churches across the globe. These visions were written specifically for their church, but can help you get started in the right direction:
Another great idea to help you get started is brainstorming words that remind you of your children’s ministry such as fun, diverse, extraordinary, revolutionary, wild, revival, global, missions, go, big, power…
People you may want to include in your vision are kids, volunteers, parents, the community, and the world.
Once you know where you are going, what words describe your department best and know how you want to write your vision, than get started. Don’t hold back, but be bold in the vision you see for your ministry. Write the vision so that everyone, big and small, can understand and run with it (Mal 2:10)!
First thing first! Before you get started making improvements in your department, a simple assessment is a good place to get started. I have attached a form that will be helpful in this process.
Children’s ministry says alot to the first time visitor! Visitors will come back just because you have a great children’s ministry and they feel safe leaving their precious cargo with you! Without cutting any pie slices out of the children’s department budget, you can make small changes that will make a big difference in the presentation of your children’s department. Get started by utilizing this easy to follow assessment form.
Note: In Order to download the assessment form, a free subscription to scribd will be nessessary. But it is quick and easy!
Dear Children’s Minister’s,
Church is for Kids Too is my newest adventure and I am looking forward to adding updated material daily from contributors all over the globe that can bring fresh perspective, creative ideas, wisdom and impart new skills to the audience that we hope to reach. It’s about changing lives… training ministers to lead children into a relationship with Jesus Christ and providing resources to help them make it happen!
Whether you are fossil of a children’s minister or you are breaking fresh ground, this site will be your very own resource room. In it is the tools you need to lead volunteers, administrate your department, manage your time, minister to the kids and develop in your God given gifts so that you can grow and expand the borders of your ministry beyond measure…
Thank You for visiting Church is for Kids Too and be sure to stop by often to check in for new updates. If you would like to receive emails when we post updates, you can subscribe on the home page.
For the Children,