10 Things You Should Do For Your Children's Ministry in 2018

I'm sure you're already thinking about 2018 and how you can make it a great year for your children's ministry.

Here are 10 things you should do for your children's ministry in 2018.  These can help you take the ministry to a new level next year.

Read a book with your staff and/or key volunteers.  Pick a book that can help you and your team grow.  It might be a ministry book, leadership book or spiritual growth book.  Read it and discuss together what you are learning from the chapters.

Here are some suggestions...

If Disney Ran Your Children's Ministry

The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams

Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love

Start with the Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

How Successful People Lead

Creativity, Inc.

The Compound Effect

Reassess everything you're doing.  Is it effective?  Is it still relevant?  Does anything need to be added?  Does anything need to be stopped?  Is the curriculum helping kids grow spiritually?  Are you reaching new families?  What is going well?  What is struggling? 

Ask these and other hard questions about everything you do.  This will keep you from getting stuck in a rut next year and will prevent sacred cows from eating up your ministry's resources, volunteers and time.    

Have a church-wide children's day.  Have at least one weekend where the entire church focuses on the children's ministry during the adult service.

On this day, highlight the children's ministry on the front cover of the worship bulletin.  Have kids lead worship in the adult service.  Have a child pray for the offering in the adult service.  Have the children's ministry director or a guest speaker bring the sermon in the service and share about the importance of children's ministry.  Recognize volunteers in the service and thank them for investing in the next generation.  Share praise reports about what God is doing in the lives of kids and families.  Have a children's parade into the adult service.  Highlight some of the big events and programs that are happening that year.

This can be a huge win for your children's ministry.  You can see the importance of children's ministry elevated immediately in your church by having a designated, church-wide children's day.

Update your facilities.  Your facilities matter...a lot.  Run-down facilities will make your children's ministry seem worse than it really is.  Good facilities will make your children's ministry seem better than it really is.

Unless you have brand new facilities, there is something that needs updating.  It may be painting some rooms.  It might be buying new chairs.  It might be new flooring in some areas.  It might be a new video screen or new television.  It might be new rocking chairs for the nursery.

Do as much as you can with the money you have access to or can get donated/given.  Focus on what you can do rather than what you can't do. 

Updating your facilities will bring fresh excitement and energy to your ministry in 2018.  I guarantee it.

Go to a conference.  How long has it been since you and some of your staff and/or key volunteers went to a conference?  You need it in 2018.  There are lots of great options to choose from.  Make your plans now and make this investment in yourself and your children's ministry.  You'll come back with fresh ideas, insight and encouragement.  It's also a great way to network with other children's ministry leaders.  

Honor your volunteers.  Your volunteers are the most important part of your children's ministry.  There is no children's ministry without them.  Make sure you value them.  Say "thank you" often.  Write them notes.  Text them.  Give them a gift.  Host a cookout in their honor.  Set them up for success with good communication, training and resources. 

Bring in an outside voice and eyes.  It makes a big impact when someone from the outside comes in and reinforces what you are trying to accomplish with your children's ministry.

It helps you identify things you are missing.  There are some things you and the ministry have become blind to...simply because you see the ministry all the time.  It happens to every ministry.  That's why you need fresh eyes to see the things you have overlooked or missed.   Here are some ways you can do this.

On-site ministry evaluation

Phone/video call consultation

It's also important for your volunteers, team members and church to hear about the importance of children's ministry from someone outside the ministry.  It strengthens and helps solidify what you've been sharing with them.  Here's how you can do this.

Teaching in adult weekend services

And it also helps you train, equip and inspire your team.  It's important to have key times during the year when you invest in your team.  Some of those times should be from you as the leader.  Other times it should be someone from the outside who can bring fresh insight, training and encouragement.  And the good news, with technology, any church can now afford to bring training to your team.  Here are some ways you can do this.

Live online webinars

Online team training

On-site volunteer training

Add more volunteers.  Just like every other church in America, you are going to need new volunteers in 2018.  Make bringing new volunteers on your team one of your top priorities for next year.  The success of your children's ministry will rise and fall on the strength of your volunteer team in 2018! 

Visit another church.  Find another church that has a great children's ministry.  Preferably a church that is at a level you want to be at.  Contact them and ask if you can come visit during their weekend services.  Bring a few key leaders with you.  Go and observe their ministry.  Make notes.  Ask lots of questions.  Look for ideas.  Bring back what you've learned and implement what will work in your ministry and culture. 

Refocus on the vision.  Yes, you cast vision this year.  But it has leaked.  It's just what happens.  People have become dull to the vision you cast this year.  They are more focused on what they are doing than on why they are doing it.   You must refocus them on the vision this coming year.  You must remind them in a fresh way why they are doing what they are doing.

Vision cast yesterday that is not revisited today will be forgotten tomorrow.  Keep your team focused on the vision in 2018.  Remind them of the vision each time you meet together.  Keep praying with them for the vision to be fulfilled.  Put it in writing in some new places.  Place it in every email you send out next year.

Weave it into every job description.  Mention it in every devotion you share.  Share stories of the impact the vision is making.  Re-visit it and re-visit it and re-visit it and re-visit it.

I'm believing with you that 2018 is going to be the best year ever for you and your ministry.  I'm your fan and I'm cheering for you!  Can't wait to see what God does in you and through your ministry in 2018!