Not running background checks on all volunteers.
You can't afford NOT to run background checks on volunteers before they start serving. Please, please, please don't make this mistake. You are putting your church in jeopardy when you do this.
Begging for volunteers.
When you beg for volunteers, it has the opposite effect. People are not drawn to desperation, they are drawn to vision. You may be desperate for volunteers, but don't ever show it.
Not partnering with parents.
No one has more influence in a child's life than his or her parents. If you truly want to influence children, then influence their parents. Always be thinking parents.
Placing a volunteer alone in a classroom.
Never place a volunteer alone in a room with children. You are putting your ministry in a precarious situation when you do this. Always, always, always have two adults in a room. No one should ever be alone with a child.
Being a one-man show.
If you do this, the ministry will be very limited and will plateau. The best thing you can do as a children's ministry leader is build a team. It's not what you can do, it's what you can empower others to do.
Placing volunteers where you need them.
Resist the urge to place volunteers where you have holes. Place them in roles that match their gifts and passion. If you don't, they will burn out and quit. When people are in their sweet spot, they stay.
Doing too many programs.
Don't make the mistake of stretching your volunteers, budget, and calendar thin with too many programs. You can do a few things with excellence or a bunch of things with mediocrity. Less is more.
Not aligning with the vision and direction of the church.
Children's ministry is not your kingdom to rule and reign over. It's a part of the bigger vision of the church. Make sure you are lined up with your leader's vision and direction. Unity and alignment ushers in God's blessings.
Not partnering with student ministries.
Student ministry is not someone you compete with for volunteers, room reservations and calendar dates. Work closely with the student ministry and partner with them to create a seamless ministry from the cradle to college.
Not giving first-time guests a great experience.
If you are not strategically giving guests a great first experience, you are missing a key factor in seeing them return. People decide in the first eight minutes if they are going to return or not. You can get more information about how to make those first 8 minutes a great experience at this post.
What other mistakes do you feel are critical to avoid? Share with us in the comment section below.