Starting a children’s ministry in a new church can be challenging and very rewarding. This post by Laura Teague offers practical advice on getting started. — Jeffrey Reed
Years ago I worked in a small church plant in a largely unchurched area. We met in the local YMCA and Sunday morning meant hours of moving chairs, raising pipe and drape, and hanging signs. Sound like your church? Church plants are becoming increasingly popular and in the midst of all there is to do, getting your children’s ministry off the ground can tend to slip under the radar. Here are a few practical tips for starting a children’s ministry in your church plant:
1. Make kids ministry a priority
Boys and girls have unbelievable potential and desire to learn about Jesus and need a place for specific spiritual investment. Talk with your church staff about the importance of kid’s ministry and start to think through the logistics of space, budgeting, and resources. Together, set a purpose or mission statement for why you do children’s ministry. Make your priority spiritual investment rather than child care. What’s important to your church staff will quickly become important to your congregation.
2. Get people on board
Work with your pastor to begin finding volunteers. Especially in an unchurched area, this can be one of your biggest challenges. Consider approaching the church as a whole and using a rotation system so volunteers still have a chance to attend worship. Parents understand the importance of kid’s ministry and can make great volunteers. Be sure to run background checks on all volunteers and clearly lay out expectations for them. After all, investing in the lives of kids is a commitment!
3. Choose a path
What will your kid’s ministry look like? Will there be elements of large group? Small group? Worship? Do you have enough kids to divide by age? Use your mission statement to begin sculpting an outline, and begin praying about a spiritual direction and looking for a great curriculum. Check here for a few of our favorites!
4. Connect with families
Connecting with the families in your church outside of Sunday morning is a great way to raise support and begin discipleship. This doesn’t have to be a big event– something as simple as a potluck picnic or outing to the local bowling alley will paint the picture that your church cares about families. Have your church staff join in and look at this as an opportunity for outreach.
What challenges and successes have you seen in your church plant’s children’s ministry?