The Do's and Don'ts of Children's Ministry

Do lead by serving.
Don't try to lead by a title.

Do make church fun for kids.
Don't make church boring for kids.

Do create environments that have kids dragging their parents to church.
Don't create environments that cause parents to have to drag their kids to church.

Do teach life application.
Don't teach information without life application.

Do place new volunteers where they need to be.
Don't place new volunteers where you need them to be.

Do listen.
Don't do all the talking.

Do let kids move.
Don't expect kids to sit still and be quiet for more than 5 minutes.

Do be productive.
Don't be busy, but not productive.

Do background checks on all volunteers before they start serving.
Don't ever let anyone be alone with a child.

Do treat pre-teens their age.
Don't talk to pre-teens like they are little kids.

Do partner with other ministries in your church.
Don't make children's ministry a silo.

Do equip parents to be the primary spiritual leaders of their children.
Don't separate what happens at church from what happens at home.

Do go the second mile to give first-time guests a great experience.
Don't make new guests wait in line.

Do keep your children's ministry space clean and tidy.
Don't let your children's ministry get cluttered.

Do look through the eyes of a child when decorating your kids' rooms.
Don't put kids in rooms that were designed for adults.

Do make your lessons interactive and participatory.
Don't lecture kids.

Do treat kids like they are living in 2015.
Don't treat kids like they are living in 1980.

Do use the ministry to build your volunteers.
Don't use volunteers to build the ministry.

Do put your family before your ministry.
Don't put your ministry before your family.

Do spend just as much time learning to lead adults as you do kids.
Don't put all your focus on the kids.

Do build a volunteer team through vision.
Don't try to build a volunteer team through need.

Do learn how to manage conflict and bring resolution.
Don't run from hard conversations.

Do be yourself.
Don't try to be a copy of someone else.

Do see complaints as a gift that you can use to make the ministry better.
Don't turn a deaf ear to complainers.

Do say "thank you" every week to your volunteers.
Don't take your volunteers for granted.

Do spend time with God.
Don't get so busy working for God that you don't have time to spend with God.

Do use breath mints.
Don't knock new families out with your breath.

Do read and read and read.
Don't stop growing.

Do help kids see the Bible as a love letter.
Don't cause kids to see the Bible primarily as a rule book.

Do keep going.
Don't quit.

The floor is yours.  What are some other do's and don'ts of children's ministry?  Share them with us in the comment section below.