Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to Start a Children's Ministry

Many churches today are in need of children's workers.
In churches large and small kids are slipping through the cracks because they do not have a children's ministry. Nothing turns a kid off more to church then having to sit through a sermon that is geared towards adults. Children are not wired to sit still for an hour. If churches continue to lose young people, they will lose their future leaders.
So, you've decided you want to start a kids ministry in your church. I will warn you, it is not easy. On the other hand it is a very rewarding ministry if you have the love, patience and time to commit to it.
Below are the steps in starting a new children's church ministry.
Note: Look at the resource links for more of my How To' s concerning more specific aspects of children's ministry work.

  1. Step 1
    Take time to pray daily (10 minutes) for at least one week. Ask God for direction and to prepare you heart for the ministry ahead. Without prayer at the foundation you can not know for sure that this is the ministry God wants you in. A ministry that is not built on a relationship with God through prayer is one that will crumble. After you have determined, through prayer, that you want to work with children; you are ready to move to the next step.

  2. Step 2
    Develop a children's ministry plan. This will consist of a number of things. First decide what age group you want to work with. Most kids ministries that run during the morning service are 1st through 5th grade. If there is a need and enough workers you can break the age group down more.
    Give the ministry a name that is exciting and that you can promote. I have developed Kidz J.A.M. (Jesus and Me). Come up with a name that sends a message that the class is something a kid won't want to miss.
    Make a list of goals for the class ie. what you want the children to get out of the class; how much do you want the class to grow.
    Make a class schedule. Plan for your normal service time and add 15 minutes of additional material. Your schedule can include any of the following: time for a lesson, object lesson, game, music, crafts, activities, snacks, short movies such as Veggie Tales and anything else you might want to include in your class time.
    Choose lesson plans or a year round program. If you are going to write your own lessons prepare a couple to use for examples. Develop some promotional material ie. fliers and bulletin inserts.
    You may want to start thinking about a room you would like to run the class in. Keep in mind what activities you will be doing when you determine a room.
    Now that you have a program in place you are ready to move to the next step.

  3. Step 3
    It is time to present your ideas. Do not be afraid or intimidated; most leaders will be excited that you want to be in ministry. Schedule a time to meet with your Pastor or Sunday school director. Prepare for the meeting. Let the Pastor or Director know that you have prayed much about the decision to start a ministry. Present the program by name. Give a vivid explanation of what a child will experience, state the goals for the class. Give an example of a class schedule complete with a lesson plan or program. Be ready to answer any question that may be asked. Ask any questions you may have. You may want to ask if you can have a budget for the class, unless you plan on buying all materials and supplies.

  4. Step 4
    Congratulations you've been approved. It is time to promote a start date, recruit volunteer helpers and just keep building excitement. You might even want to throw a kick-off bash.
    Good luck. God will reward those who serve him diligently.