You may have started your work in children’s ministry because of your love for kids. But, by now, you’ve also discovered the need to connect, recruit, and equip adults in order to accomplish an effective ministry. Your adult leadership team is critical to the quality, success and impact your church can have on the lives of children. George Barna made this statement: “In the race to a child’s heart, the first one there wins.” We must be intentional about children’s ministry!
As a leader, you must pour into the team. One of the best ways is through meeting together. There isn’t a one size fits all for leadership development meetings. You don’t want to meet too much, and you don’t want to meet too little. When you do meet, there should be a reason. You should always hold to start and end times and you should use your time wisely. I have found it important to meet with my teams outside of the crunch times of ministry. If Sundays or Wednesday are game days, then it might be good to be able to visit together on another evening or Saturday morning where the pressure to serve is off.
Here are ten things you may want to include in your next meeting with your children’s ministry leadership teams:
Invite teachers and leaders to grow together. Invite them to pair off and answer questions. Have dinner or dessert during your meeting. etc. Leaders need a framework and a time to connect with you and other leaders outside of the “go times” of kids ministry. Schedule these times and make them a priority. This can be done in a variety of ways and styles – in the church, in your home, at a restaurant, etc.
At your meetings, remind your team about the vision of ministry, the purpose of your work, the basics of the goals and roles. Help your team stay on course with the mission and vision. Share the vision every time. Share a scripture to help keep your team on course. Here are some you might think about: 1 Cor. 15:58 | Prov. 22:6 | Deut 6:4-8
Pick out something to celebrate. Share a story or a moment you have witnessed. Invite others from the team to share something that can be celebrated in the ministry – a breakthrough, answered prayer, a response, new kids, etc.
Share an idea for connecting with kids. Make a plan for a new way of involving children from the moment they arrive – at least for a short season. Brainstorm some people in your church who might be good leaders for children’s ministry, who might be interested in welcoming kids as they come in, or who can help in another way. Connect with them based on the fact that your team named them personally as a potential team member.
Calendar or Curriculum
What calendar items do you need to go over? This should be brief. Let your team in on changes, coming events, special themes or lessons or parties, starting and ending celebrations to the season or semester. Have these dates printed in advance to save time. Where are you with curriculum? What’s coming up? What input does your team have?
Tweak the plans for communication. Do you send texts to your team? Do you have a facebook group? Do you share Google docs? How do you communicate with your team and/or the parents of the children? Make sure everyone is on the same page. Invite your team to help with communication through each group they lead.
Dream and brainstorm about creative ways to reach out to children and families. What new thing can you do? What small, free thing can your team do to make a huge difference? Encourage and challenge your team to be creative in planning, preparing and teaching kids.
Always thank your team for their commitment. Remind them of their terms of commitment. No one should feel like there is no way out. Commitments to lead should be done by season and re-upped each time. Leaders should also be reminded of a need to be committed to worship attendance so they don’t become burnt out or disengaged from the church. Do all you can to arrange a schedule/ministry team that keeps a worship hour open and available for leaders.
Children’s ministry in the church isn’t easy. It requires courage to lead, teach, organize and keep children in line and focused. Pray for courage in your leadership and with your team.
Always pray with your team as you begin and close meetings together. Prayer always precedes revival and we know our family, their families and the church needs God’s Spirit to be at work. Pray, on behalf of the church and the homes from which your kids come, for God’s work and will to be done. The Children’s Ministry Team members should pray together often. Go around the circle and invite them all to pray.
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