Oct 31, 2014

Kids Love to Do This at Church...Are You Giving Them the Opportunity?

Some of the most successful digital content for kids right now are apps and programs that provide open play and creativity.

Apps like Toca Boca or Dr. Panda consistently rank in the top 5 downloaded.  Nightkeeper Zoo is another very popular app that uses digital technology to inspire kid's creativity.

All of these apps resound with kids for one reason.  They provide kids the opportunity to use their creativity.  Kids love to draw, write, invent and create.

Are you giving kids the opportunity to be creative at church?  Here's some ideas you can use to let kids do what they love.

Kids love to color.  Give them pictures of the Bible lesson and have them color it in.

Provide kids with a blank comic strip and have them draw out the Bible story they heard.

Kids love to make and assemble things.  This past weekend, we gave the kids to opportunity to make bracelets that they can wear this week to share their faith.

What are some other things you do to inspire kids creativity?  Share your ideas with us in the comment section below.

Oct 30, 2014

Children's Pastors...the Great Void

I've been in serving in children's ministry full-time for over 25 years now.  At 47, I'm definitely middle-aged.  And I'm starting to turn around and look behind me.

What I see alarms me.  There has always been a void of children's pastors.  Don't think so?  Just go check the open job listings on any church staffing site and you'll see the largest number of empty positions are children's pastors.

But as I look behind me, I see an even greater void of young children's pastors.  Don't get me wrong, there are some great young children's ministry leaders emerging.  But the number of leaders pales in comparison to the harvest fields that are riping all arround us.

We must raise up young leaders who will reach the next generation for Christ.

We must pray for the Lord to call young men and women into children's ministry. 
Jesus told us to pray for workers for the harvest.  Let's ask God to move in the hearts of young people and call them into children's ministry.  Jesus wouldn't tell us to ask for something God didn't want to give us.

Christian universities and seminaries must prepare young people for children's ministry.
Very few institutions of higher learning that prepare people for ministry have degrees in children's ministry.  Some do...but it is minimal and nowhere near the number needed.

Churches must raise up children's ministry leaders. 
When churches make children's ministry a priority, children's ministry leaders will emerge.  Out of our children's ministry staff of over 50, only a small handful were brought to our church from the outside.  The vast majority were volunteers that we have poured into and raised up as staff members.

Churches must provide internships in children's ministry.
Internships are a great time to solidify those who God is calling into children's ministry.  I know of several churches that do this very well and have seen God use it to call dozens of young adults into children's ministry.

Children's Pastor's must be intentional about investing in the next generation of leaders.
We must gather young leaders around us and mentor them.  We must begin handing off leadership to them.  They are the future of children's ministry.  

Oct 29, 2014

Children...the World's Greatest Mission Field

"You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’  But I say, wake up and look around.  The fields are already ripe for harvest."  John 4:35

I believe the greatest mission field in the world is children.  Stats show that the vast majority of people who come to Christ, do so when they are children. 

Time is short.

There are 2.2 billion children in the world.

22,000 children die each day due to poverty.

1.8 million children die each year due to diarrhoea.

1.4 million children die each year due to lack of sanitary drinking water.

2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized.

What should we do?

The church must pray for children to come to Christ.

The church must make reaching children a priority.

The church must invest heavily in reaching children.  Why wouldn't we invest the most money in the ripest harvest field?

The church must raise up children's ministry leaders.

The field is children and the harvest is ripe.  Let's get busy.

Oct 28, 2014

10 Phrases Kids Need to Hear at Church

"The tongue can bring death or life..."  Proverbs 18:21

There is so much power in your words.  Your words can change a child's life.  Your words can bring confidence and courage to a child who has none.  Your words can inspire a child to live a life of greatness.

Here's 10 phrases that kids need to hear at church.  Speak these to the kids in your ministry and it will be transformative!

"I believe in you!"

"God has great plans for you."

"I'm so proud of you!"

"You are a leader!"

"We love you!"

"I can't wait to see what God does through you!"

"You are an awesome kid!"

"You are so valuable to God and to us."

"You can do anything God asks you to do!"

"I'm so thankful you are part of our church family!"

What are some other phrases kids need to hear at church?  Share them with us in the comment section below.

Oct 27, 2014

An Inside Look at Our Children's Ministry Staff Meetings

Strategic planning is an important part of children's ministry.  Whether you have a paid or volunteer team, it's important to get together on a regular basis and strategize about how to move the ministry forward.

I meet with our team once a week.  What do we talk about?  Here's an inside look at one of our team meetings.   I believe it's important to have a set agenda when you walk into a meeting.

  • We share personal and ministry prayer requests.  
  • We ask for God's guidance and wisdom as we meet.

  • I share either a devotional or practical teaching that will help us grow personally or in our ministry skills.
  • This is normally an overflow of what I've been personally learning.

Weekend Review and Praise Reports by area (nursery, preschool, elementary, guest services, etc.)
  • What did we see God do this past weekend?
  • What was our attendance?  Any patterns or areas of growth or concern?
  • How many first-time guests did we have?
  • What went well this past weekend?
  • What do we need to fix or adjust from this past weekend? 

This coming weekend 
  • What is happening this coming weekend
  • What prep needs to happen for this coming weekend

 Upcoming Events
  • Details and plans for upcoming events such as fall festival, baptism, parent-child dedication, etc.

Volunteer Updates
  • How many volunteers served this past weekend? 
  • How many new volunteers attended orientation and joined our team this past weekend?
  • Who did you ask to join our team this past weekend?
  • What are areas we need to focus on for more volunteers?

  • How is our budget looking? 
  • Are we tracking well?
  • Are we over or under budget in any areas?

Miscellaneous Items

Final Questions
  • What did we miss?
  • Is there anything else that you want to bring up or talk about?
  • What do you know that everyone else needs to know about?

Your turn...

How do your staff meetings look?  
How often do you meet?
What do you talk about?

We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.