20 Ways to Bring Excitement to a Bland Ministry

I do church consulting. Recently, I was at a church consulting for the weekend.

After observing the morning services, the pastor asked me what I thought about their children's ministry.

One word came to my mind.  It was this - bland.  While the ministry was somewhat organized, their still seemed to be something that was missing. 

What was missing was the excitement, energy and culture that growing ministries have. 

The ministry was good...but in my opinion, it wasn't great.  A great ministry has a magnetic pull that attracts today's families and kids.  It's irresistible environments that cause kids to drag their parents to church.  It's the kind of energy that causes a child who is at Disney World on a Sunday to become sad because he or she is missing their Sunday morning experience at church.  

So, if your ministry is feeling bland, here are 20 ways you can bring fresh energy and excitement.  

1 - Get your greeters excited.  They set the tone for the child's church experience.  Get some Mickey Mouse gloves and have your greeters wear them and wave to the kids as they enter.  Greeters can also add to the excitement by wearing bright, kid-friendly colors. And if you really want to go all out, have some costumed characters as well.

2 - Put a bubble machine at your children's ministry entrances.  Bubbles always make things more fun.

3 - Start playing music in the hallways.  Music is such a powerful force that can change people's moods.  Play happy, fun music in your hallways and entrance way.  Make it enjoyable, but not overpowering other elements.

4. Set up a digital puppet.  This are a blast and will immediately bring energy and excitement into your ministry.  Here is a sample and ordering instructions for the puppets.

5. Sing songs that kids love.  The big test is this.  Are they singing and worshiping to the song?  If they are not, then it's time to try some new songs.  Here is a new worship album that kids love

6.  Enlist volunteers who are naturally upbeat, friendly and like to have fun. 

7. Get a fresh logo.  Don't skimp on this. Hire  a professional.

8. Switch to a new curriculum.  Has your current curriculum become stale?  Bring in a new curriculum that has lots of energy and excitement.  Check out Connect12.

9. If you are doing a large group format with several different grades, put the oldest kids up front.  When the older kids are sitting up front, it causes the younger children (who want to be like them) to direct their attention up front.  When they see the older kids engaged in worship, they engage as well.

10. Share the stories of God at work.  Share specific times you have seen God at work in the lives of kids, parents and volunteers.  

11. Honor kids' attention spans when you are teaching.  When you don't, lessons turn dull and monotonous.

12. Games with a purpose.  Kids love games.  Play fun, high energy games that tie into the lesson.

13. Do things with excellence.  Kids and families can detect when things are done half-way or without proper planning.  Excellence should be your measuring stick.

14. Do parent and family events that they can enjoy together.  It might be a family night at the end of VBS.  A daddy-daughter dance.  A father son camping trip.  A graduation party.  

15. Train your large group and small group leaders how to capture kids' attention and teach lessons that are engaging and fun.

16. See guests start coming.  A new family can bring excitement.  Growth brings energy.

17. Do a focus group with kids.  Bring in a group of kids and ask them what parts of the service or class are bland.  They will tell you and they are usually right in their diagnosis.

18. Do more dialogue than monologue. Don't bore kids to death by having someone stand and teach them for 30 minutes. Instead, get the kids involved in teaching and sharing God's Word.

19. Keep pointing volunteers toward the mission statement.  Constantly remind them of "why" they are ministering. Doing this will encourage them and keep them passionate about serving.

20. As the leader, be a thermostat instead of a thermometer.  There's a big difference.  A thermometer only measures the temperature.  But a thermostat controls the temperature.  

Every thing rises and falls on leadership.  If the ministry is bland, take a look in the mirror.  It's a reflection of your ministry.  The problem may be that you are a bland leader.  

But you can change that.  Work through the points above and make some changes. The kids and families you are serving deserve this.