20 Small Tips for Children's Ministry That Will Bring Big Results

Excellence in ministry comes from doing the small things well. It's the result of paying attention to the details.

Here are some small tips that can help you build and grow your ministry to the next level.

1.  Use kids' names.  This makes their experience at church personal.

2. Don't stress yourself out by procrastinating your preparation to the day before or even the morning of the class or event.  In other words, don't be trying to study your lesson at the stoplights on your way to church. Start preparing early in the week.

3. Give kids the opportunity to talk.  Your class should be a dialogue instead of a monologue.

4. Have an orientation that new volunteers go through.  Use this time to share vision, safety and security steps and 30,000 ft. details.  

5. Let new volunteers know up front that they are expected to attend training events, pre-service huddles and other enrichment opportunities that are made available. 

6. Always check your object lesson before you try it in front of the kids. Speaking by experience, if you do not and it doesn't work, you will have the opportunity to stand embarrassed in front of a group of kids.

7. If you have multiple grades together, put the older kids up front.  Younger kids want to be like the "big kids."  If you get the older kids to engage,  the younger kids will see that and will engage as well.

8. Give your take home paper to the parents when they are exiting. If you give it to the kids, it will probably end up in the parking lot or in the back seat floor of the car. 

9. Create a name tag ball.  Instead of sticking the pick-up name tags in the trash, create a ball made of the name tags that will grow each week.  Kids love adding their name tag to the ball when they are leaving. 

10. Have greeters before and after the service. When people leave, it is the last impression they will have on their visit.  Have your greeters at the exit doors after the service as well. 

11. Send a handwritten, thank you note to guests and make it specific.  In our day of technology, a handwritten note is exceptional and golden.

12. Give kids invite cards that they can use to invite their friends to church.

13. Make sure you have girls and boys on your kids' praise/worship team.  Boys will engage more during worship if they see some boys and a male worship leader on stage.

14. Don't play a game just to be playing a game.  Make every moment count.  Use games that you can tie into Biblical truth with follow-up discussions after the game.

15. Have a small gift for kids who return for a second visit.  Send them a note letting them know.  One idea I use for a gift is a t-shirt with the ministry name on it.

16. Pray for your volunteers by name each week. You are not just a shepherd to the children, but to your volunteers as well.

17. Develop kid greeters who welcome new kids and sit with them during the service / class.

18. If you need to get kids' attention back, do this.  Loudly say, "if you can hear me now, clap once."  Lower your voice and say again, "if you can hear me now, clap twice."  Then whisper, "if you can hear me now, clap three times." By this time, you will have the attention of the enter group.

19. Let the kids help you share the lesson by acting it out.  They will remember the lesson better if you involve them in sharing it.

20.  Have kids memorize one verse per month instead of one each week.  Focusing on one verse for the month will enable them to move it into their long-term memory.

Your turn.  What are some tips you have for children's ministry?  Share your ideas, insight and tips in the comment section below.