The beginnings of any group are crucial, and ministries are no exception. Establishing a firm foundation for your children’s ministry could mean the difference between creating an organization that flourishes and one that withers.
If you are a new leader and you’re looking for ways to encourage the success of your ministry, here are some children’s ministry ideas to help you start off on the right foot.
- Choose a Strong Leadership Team
Having a strong group of people to help develop the vision for your ministry is imperative if you want to begin in a healthy place. These leaders will be the sounding board for the central leader’s ideas and can be the movers and shakers to help implement plans.
Be sure to carefully vet your team to ensure that each member is aware of your vision for the ministry and that their personal visions appropriately align. While it is important to have balance and a variety of strengths, work to ensure that each individual’s abilities are conducive to creating the ministry you want.
This should be a strong team of leaders, not just a group of strong leaders. Beginning a ministry is a difficult group effort that requires the cooperation of all parties. When you’re deciding who will be part of your leadership team, ensure that the personalities of the different members mesh well with one another. If conflict arises early on, it could compromise the integrity of your ministry’s foundation.
Make collaboration and cooperation a primary goal for your leadership team and prioritize exercises that encourage team building practices from the outset.
- Develop a Budget
Nobody in ministry wants to talk about money. As a non-profit organization, your main drive is for the betterment of the communities you serve and the people you minister to. When it comes to the more bureaucratic duties like budgeting and managing facilities, you may be tempted to let these tasks fall to the wayside.
While they may seem less important than the more “spiritual” work of your ministry, the fact of the matter is that even churches need some sort of funding to operate.
Once you have developed a vision for the type of ministry that would best serve your community, talk with the financial professionals in your church. These people may have the best ideas regarding what your church congregation can help facilitate financially.
- Set Reasonable Goals and Expectations
It’s important that the expectations for your ministry are appropriate for your church’s size and scope. For a congregation of fifty, it may not be reasonable to dream of a children’s facility with all the latest gadgets and technology. If you are constantly comparing your ministry to some of the flashier, big-budget ministries, you may find yourself disappointed with your team’s genuine efforts.
Whether your congregation is large or small, the most important thing is to tailor your ministry for your community. Aspirations and goals are important to strive toward, but be careful that your vision for ministry doesn’t get in the way of the real-life needs of your people.
- Get Feedback
Speaking of the needs of your community, it may not be prudent to assume that you fully understand what all families need. It is especially vital that children in their formative years are being cared for in the best possible way.
If you are in the throes of planning how to begin your children’s ministry, consider hosting a “town hall” of sorts for your church in which you glean the insight of your church members.
It is important to gather demographic information like the numbers and ages of your child population, but you should also gather more qualitative data on the families of your church. It is important to know if the children of your congregation have special needs that may require additional support.
It can also be helpful to gather feedback from families in your church after the ministry has begun. Parents and other congregants may have a perspective that you and your leadership team lack that could help illuminate potential issues in the operations of the ministry. These conversations could be vital for improving the content of your children’s ministry, as well as its structure.
- Get Started
You want to be as prepared as possible for the beginning of your children’s ministry, but there does come a time when you need to launch, regardless of whether every loose end is tied up. Start by involving kids in the service, then scale up your activities according to your resources and how much time your leadership team can commit.
There will always be some unexpected things that you can only learn via trial by fire. The best way to learn how to run your children’s ministry is simply through running it. You will never truly know what your ministry needs to operate until it is in full operation. Be sure to hold frequent meetings to reflect on the success and trouble spots of your children’s ministry, especially in its earliest stages.
Teaching kids faith is an important and difficult task. To make sure that your ministry has as much success as possible, do what you can to establish a firm foundation. Trying out these tips could be what helps set your children’s ministry on the road to flourishing.
If you’re looking for more tips on teaching kids about Jesus, children’s ministry resources, and Bible stories for kids, check out our catalogue of Sunday school resources, engaging media, and more!