Children’s ministry has a special set of challenges. How can we make something as serious as church, and as important as the message of the Gospel fun and appealing to children? There is no doubt that the Great Commission extends to children as well as adults, but there is also no doubt that the approaches we use for these two groups are going to be very different. Let’s look at a few ways to keep your children’s ministry alive and growing.
Keep It Biblical
When we mention anything for kids most of us immediately are aware of a need for fun. You are not going to keep a kid’s attention for very long unless they are having fun. You might be able to force some info on them for a short amount of time but if you really want a child to retain what you are sharing there has got to be a little fun in the mix. The great balance of children’s ministry, though, is not taking the fun so far that the Biblical message is lost.
Youth ministry is not play group. Although there certainly needs to be some play involved, everything always needs to circle back to Jesus, the Word of God, our need for a Savior and our Christian duties in this world. One of the great dangers of operating a youth ministry is that it simply becomes a positive social outlet for kids. Although socializing needs to be a part of it, fun needs to be a part of it, this is never the end goal. Always be evaluating if the time spent in youth ministry events focused on Christ.
Keep It Fun
So, here is the greatest challenge. How do we first and foremost keep it Biblical and keep it fun? Although it may seem like a daunting task at first, it is possible. The trick is to be willing to put in the work and the time. Your kids will know if you are not putting in the effort to keep ministry time fun, and you will know if it was all just fun with no real teaching or Biblical application.
If you have committed to children’s ministry then you are making a time commitment beyond simply class time or youth group time. You are also committing to spending time during the week preparing for those classes and events. Running into class completely unprepared might work once or twice, but for the long haul, the kids will notice.
Block out time in your week to focus on your children’s ministry classes and events for the week. If you are working with a team, be sure to stay in good contact so that no one person feels that they are holding the load all on their own.
Keep It A Group Effort
Working with kids is a big job. If you want to have the best possible church for kids then it will need to be a group effort. Spreading out the children’s ministry over several helpers works on a lot of levels. First, it decreases the chances of burnout for those working and secondly it keeps a great pool of fresh ideas flowing. Having several people involved also increases the amount of accountability in the group which is very important when working with kids.
Keep It Personal
The best way to ensure that kids feel good about worship is to make sure you and your team are setting the example. Kids need to see the adults in their life worshiping comfortably. They need to see that the adults in their church for kids group attend faithfully. They need to see that worship is normal, talking about Jesus is normal, sharing your faith is normal. The adults will be the ones to set these examples for them.
Keep It Professional
In any ministry, there are going to be problems both personally and logistically. When these problems get blown out of proportion or get handled in a less than Godly way kids will notice. You may think your kids don’t have much of an attention span, but let an argument break out among the adults working youth ministry and you can be sure that every kid in that group is paying attention to every word. It is vital that the adults involved have good communication and problem-solving skills. Kids do not need any additional discouragements to their faith. There are plenty of people outside of the church who will discourage them plenty. If the adults are bickering and fighting it will not add to their faith but will rather subtract from it. Make sure problems are handled privately and quickly. Church for kids is a vital part of church life. The children you are training today will be the leaders tomorrow. Use these helpful tips to keep your children’s church ministry thriving and growing.