The church I serve in now is a multi-site church. One of our campuses is in the largest city in America...New York City. Our campus there meets right across the street from Central Park and is surrounded by millions of people.
Another one of our campuses meets in a small town that is the opposite of New York. Instead of being surrounded by skyscrapers, it is surrounded by farms, mom and pop stores and cow pastures. It may not be in a hugely populated area, but there's no reason why we can't build a thriving children's ministry there.
If you are ministering in Small Town, U.S.A., you might be tempted to look at mega-churches that are located in heavily populated areas and feel like you're not as successful as they are. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Some of the best children's ministries in America are found in small towns. And many of them, based on population, are reaching a larger percentage of people than mega churches in huge cities.
I am really excited about what God is doing at our campus in this small town. Let's go on a tour and I'll share some keys to building a thriving children's ministry in a small town.
Make children's ministry a top priority in the church. These are pictures of the adult auditorium. We make sure we talk about children's ministry in the adult service. The kids also come in and sing sometimes during the service. Emphasize the importance of children's ministry to the entire church.
Make sure every child is loved and personally known. One benefit of a children's ministry in a small town is you have a better opportunity to know each child personally and help them grow in their faith.
|USE KID-FRIENDLY COLORS|
|WE USE CURTAINS IN SHARED SPACE|
Host events that families in the community can attend. One example is hosting a Fall Festival. We did this last fall and had lots of new families attend.
Take what you have and make it excellent. What has God placed in your hand? Give it your best. It's not what you have, it's what you do with what you have.
Give first-time families a great first-time experience. Just as in a big city, the biggest key to getting new families to return is giving them a great experience on their first visit. Below is a first-time family check-in area we created.
Make your lessons fun, interactive and engaging. No matter what size town they live in, kids want lessons that capture their attention and give them an opportunity to interact.
Have clearly marked signage. Make it easy for people to navigate your campus.