Oct 28, 2016

The 2 Biggest Things a Children's Ministry Leader Should Be Doing

There's a lot of things you can do as a children's ministry leader and we know there is never a lack of tasks waiting.  There's always another phone call to make, another volunteer to recruit, another craft to prepare, another family to follow up on, another lesson to teach, we could go on and on and on.

But...I believe the two biggest things a children's ministry leader can do are... 

Point people to the vision.  Rallying people behind a common vision is crucial.  This brings unity, growth, passion and direction.  As the leader, you must help people look around the what and see the why.  Here are some questions to ponder:
  • How do I help people see the vision?
  • How do I communicate the vision?
  • How do I help people stay focused on the vision?
  • How much of my week is spent pointing people to the vision?
Equip people to fulfill the vision.  As the leader, the Bible says your primary job is not to do the work of the ministry, but it's to equip people to do the work of the ministry.  Check out Ephesians 4.  When you spend your time equipping rather than just doing, the ministry will begin to multiple and grow.  Here are some questions to ponder:
  •  How am I equipping others to do the work of the ministry?
  •  What am I doing that I should equip someone else to do?
  •  How can I multiple myself as a leader?
When you equip people to fulfill the vision, it will give you the bandwidth to focus more on the vision.  Do these two things and you will see your ministry grow and prosper. 

Oct 27, 2016

Making Prayer a Priority in Your Children's Ministry

In the busyness of children's ministry it's easy to forget what matters most and makes the biggest impact...prayer.

I'll never forget this quote I heard years ago.

"Nothing of eternal value happens without prayer."

Isn't that so true?  We must make prayer a priority in our ministries.  Here are some practical ways we can do this. 

Pray with your volunteers before the service.  Gather together and spend time praying for the kids and the service.  Pray for God's anointing to be upon every leader and in every classroom.  Pray for hearts to be opened and for lives to be changed.

Give the kids opportunity to pray during the service.  Be intentional about carving out time each week during class for the kids to pray.  Give them quiet time to talk with God and to listen to His voice. 

Pray for the kids in class and during the week.  Give kids the opportunity to write down prayer requests and pray for them.  You can also have your teachers and leaders take the prayer requests home and pray for the kids during the week.

In nursery and preschool, place prayer promises on the classroom walls and have your leaders pray those prayers over the kids each week.

Partner with parents in prayer.  Let parents know you are praying for their kids and ask how you can partner with them in this.  Create a prayer calendar and partner with parents in praying each day for their kids.  Give nursery and preschool parents a copy of the prayer promises mentioned above and partner with them in praying the verses over their children.  

Pray for the lost in your community.  God's heart is for every boy, girl, mom and dad in your community to know Him and experience His forgiveness.  Keep them on your heart and pray for them.  Pray for divine appointments.  Pray for God to draw them to Himself.  Pray for God to use you and your team to reach them.

Prayer and Fasting.  Want to see extraordinary things?  This comes through prayer and fasting.  Lead your ministry in times of prayer and fasting and watch God move.

Pray for your volunteers and their needs.  Children's ministry is about ministering and shepherding volunteers as well.  Know what's going on in the lives of your volunteers.  Know what their prayer needs are.  Pray for them when they are with you and during the week.  Be their prayer warrior. 

Prayer is the key that will unlock the door of God's blessings upon your ministry. 

Oct 26, 2016

8 Keys to Getting Students Serving in Your Ministry

A few years ago, while at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, I stopped to watch one of the  parades.  Everything was over-the-top as usual, but one thing in particular really stood out to me.  It was the age of the characters in the parade. They were all high school and college-age students. 

Turn over to the Disney channel and you’ll see the dominant age of the actors in their sitcoms is high school.  And think about Disney movies like High School Musical that featured high school students.  It was released in 2006 and set a record for viewership with over 7.7 million people tuning in for the first airing.  Disney knows that middle school, high school and college students are kid magnets.  That’s who kids look up to.  That’s who’s “cool” to them.  That’s who they want to be like.  If you want to have a dynamic children’s ministry team, then enlist students.

I believe some of your best volunteers are sitting in the student ministry at your church.  Students have so much to offer kids.  They have energy, excitement and enthusiasm.  They can teach, be in videos, host small groups, lead worship, pray with kids, greet, run tech and fill a host of other important roles.  They can infuse life into your children’s ministry.

Here are some keys to enlisting students:

Build a relationship with student ministry staff and volunteers. Share with them the vision of students serving and making an impact in children’s ministry.  They want to see their students growing in their faith and making a difference.  Partner with them. 

Become a familiar face.  Attend or volunteer at some student ministry activities, classes or services.

Broadcast the vision.  Students are drawn to vision.  They are looking for opportunities to make a significant impact.  Share with them what a huge difference they can make in a child’s life.

Be yourself.  Don’t try to be “cool” or try to “fit in” with them (unless you’re 25 and under).  They will see right through it.  Just be yourself...an authentic leader.

Begin asking students who are currently serving to share the vision with their peers.  Students usually come to serve in groups.  Ask them to invite their friends to serve with them.

Be clear about expectations, structure, and guidelines.  Have it in writing, go over it with them and have them sign an agreement they will abide by before they start serving.  Students, especially middle-schoolers, can still be immature at times and need clear direction and boundaries.

Bring their parents into it.  If the student is under 18, have their parents attend the meeting mentioned above and also sign an agreement that their child will follow the guidelines established.  This helps in case you need to address any issues with the student later.

Believe in them.  They are called out all of the time for what they’re doing wrong.  It’s time we call them up to all that God wants to do in them and through them.  Pour into them.  Encourage them.  Be their biggest fan.  You’ll be amazed at what they can do if you believe in them.

When I was 16 years old, I was your typical student.  All I cared about was my car, basketball and girls.  But then my Youth Pastor approached me about serving in children’s ministry.  He told me he saw something in me and believed I could do great things in ministry.  At first, I said no, but he kept asking and finally, I agreed.  Once I started working with kids, God confirmed my calling and here I am 33 years later still serving in children’s ministry.  There are students in your church just waiting for you to believe in them and give them an opportunity to serve.

This is an excerpt from the chapter Constructing Teams Like Disney in my new book If Disney Ran Your Children's Ministry.  You can get your copy today at www.kidminmouse.com