Here are some suggestions for beginning a children’s ministry by Danica Chapman.
A children’s ministry is a great way to engage youngsters into the faith by speaking in their language. By translating your spiritual message into child-friendly discussions, kids can easily digest the lessons and wisdom as spoken in the Good Book.
Here are the steps in beginning a children’s ministry.
- Observe other children’s ministries. Visit a neighboring ministry and study how the facilitators transact with their young attendees. Find out which approaches work and the level of vocabulary used. Contrast the interaction with those of adult ministries. Finally, check which elements do not work and figure out how to improve on them. You can also visit online resource sites for further ideas to adapt and integrate, especially websites dedicated to providing resources to children’s ministries.
- Decide on your mission/vision statement. This statement will guide all your decisions in building up your ministry and maintaining it through adversity and changing times. Imagine the end result of your efforts then trim out elements that are dependent on times and conditions. Study past ministries to learn why some succeed and others fail. Continue to improve your statement by determining what you DON’T want your ministry to become. Present this mission/vision statement to your stakeholders then consider their input.
- Prepare a ministry plan. Estimate your budget, calendar, goals and ministers. Work with your limits to achieve your goals. Consult with your peers for evaluation and ideas. Break down your goals into achievable steps in terms of years, months and days. Observe children around you and gain insight as to what they need to nourish their spirituality. Decide on a venue then spruce it up with child-friendly décor that reinforces your message. If you need to raise funds, gain the help of your colleagues for activities to earn it.
- Pray for guidance. Spend time asking God for a vision that will guide your ministry throughout its entire existence. Consult the Bible for a clear viewpoint, especially passages concerning the development of children.
- Promote your ministry. Approach schools and child care centers and ask permission from the administration to promote your services. Build up a website to enhance your web presence and include details about your staff, your services and your program. Make up flyers and posters to be distributed in your area. Provide a map to the venue, a short list of your program and contact information.
- Evaluate your ministry’s performance at the end of each year. Determine which goals you have met, the programs you need to remove and retain and the revisions you need to perform. A successful ministry needs to balance long-term goals which short-term actions, both adjusting to the times while keeping a constant direction to the end goal in mind.
An effective children’s ministry should be able to entice its young audience by tailoring its material for their capacity. By planting a great foundation for a ministry and maintaining a constant vision, you can build on it as more resources arrive.