20 Children's Ministry Hacks That Will Save You Time and Money

As children's ministry leaders, we all have something in common. We never seem to have enough time and money to accomplish everything we'd like to see happen in the ministry.  

I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave and you would suddenly have an unlimited budget and unlimited time.  While I can't do that for you, I can share some hacks that will save you time and money.  Here are 20 hacks that will give you back some time and money. 

1. Need some VBS decorations, theming, etc.?  Check with some churches in your area and see if they would be willing to donate or loan you their VBS decor when they are done?

2. Do you share space with a school or other group? The last place a child wants to go on the weekend is back to a school environment.  Install bright, colorful curtains that you can pull across the walls that have school decorations, bulletin boards, etc. on them.

3. Need help with writing "thanks for coming" guest cards?  Have your guest check-in team write these for you when they are not busy.  This will make the cards more personal since this is the person who helped them register and get checked in.  They can then give you the cards to mail.

4. Put a small sticker on the name tags of guests.  Tell your team to watch for these children and give them extra attention, make sure they feel welcome, etc.

5. Have an extra classroom or area where kids who are at church for more than 1 hour can go. These would be kids whose parents attend a service and then serve for a service.  Have crafts, service projects, etc. the kids can work on while they are in there. This enables them to not get bored by sitting through the same kids' service twice.  Do this for kids kindergarten and older.  

6. Hand the take home paper to parents instead of children at pick-up time.  This gives you a much better chance of the take home paper making it home and getting done.

7. When you get a new, guest baby in the nursery, ask the parents how long they want you to wait before contacting them if their baby starts crying.  This takes the guesswork out of it.

8. Instead of throwing away the children's security tags/stickers, start a name tag ball.  Kids can add their name tag to it on the way out.  The kids love watching the name tag ball grow each week and parents appreciate not having to worry about the sticker getting put on their leather seats.

9. If a child asks to go to the bathroom and you suspect they just want to get out of the room, ask them to wait 5 minutes.  If they really have to go, they will come back to you.

10. Want to reach parents with the Gospel?  Instead of praying the salvation prayer with children, invite them to a class where you share the Gospel.  No drop offs.  Parents must attend with their children. If you do this, you will see many parents come to Christ as well at the end of the class.  Here is a great resource for this - Starting Point class - at this link.

11. Partner with your student ministry leader and get teenagers serving in your children's ministry. One hack is to have teens come on Sunday morning and meet with their small group for Bible study.  When the study is over, they can go and serve together in children's ministry.

12.  When you need to get kids' attention back do this...

  • Say loudly, "If you can hear me talking clap once."
  • Then say a little softer, "If you can hear me talking now clap twice."
  • Then say it a 3rd time at a whisper level, "If you can hear me talking now clap once." By this time the room will be silent.

13. When you get to a month that has a 5th Sunday, use it as a review weekend and go back over what you have covered in the last few months. 

14. Don't create a website for your children's ministry.  Instead, start a private Facebook group.  95% of Millennial moms are on Facebook.  Instead of asking them to come to your website, go where they are and use it as a tool to partner with and equip them.

15. When you have multiple ages together for a large group time, put the oldest kids up front.  The younger children will watch the older kids in front of them and will follow their lead.

16. Put a sticker on babies' diapers that says "I was changed."

17. Give guests a t-shirt with your ministry logo on it.  They will probably wear it to school - free advertising! 

18. Grab your phone and record a quick walk through of the lesson for your teachers. Show them a sample of the craft, object lessons to use in the lesson, etc.  Keep the video 2 minutes or less.  Email the video to your teachers on the Monday before they teach.

19. Have kids repeat the key truth for the week at least 6 times. This will help it get placed in their long-term memory.  Check out how I do this with Connect12 curriculum.

20. Instead of running around town trying to find and purchase items for the lesson, order what you need online.  Order it several weeks in advance.  This will give you back your most valuable thing - your time.

Your turn. 

What are some other hacks that you use to save time and money?  Share it with us in the comment section below.