Marlene has the gift of evangelism. I like to call her “The Billy Graham of Kids Ministry.” You can count the kids she has lead to Christ by the dozens – each year!
But not all of us have Marlene’s giftedness. Not all of us can be “The Billy Graham of Kids Ministry,” and sometimes that can be dis-heartening.
What defines a win for the volunteers who serve faithfully each week?
If the only way volunteers in your Children’s Ministry can “win” is by leading a child to Christ, there will be many weeks where they feel like they have lost. We may not all have the luxury to boast of giftedness like Marlene’s, but each and every one of us can and should win on Sunday morning.
I have found that what gets praised, gets repeated. What I, as a children’s director, choose to celebrate in my Children’s Ministry team is what re-enforces the vision and shows our team what matters most.
So, here are three things you can start (or continue with renewed purpose) celebrating in your volunteer team:
1. Making it PERSONAL
Take a moment to think about the best advice you have ever been given.
Seriously, press pause. Put your laptop or device down for a second so you can really think about it.
Nearly every time I have challenged someone to think about the wisest words they have ever been told, it has come from someone they are close to. Usually it’s a parent or family member, maybe even a trusted friend or accountability partner.
I have a theory. I believe the reason you chose those words has as much to do with the character of that person as much as the content of their words. Your ears were ripe for listening because they had already won your heart and your trust.
The same is true in ministry, especially with kids. They care more about who you are than about what you say. The relationships we have with those we serve is what unlocks the door to speak truth into their lives. Therefore, we want our ministries to be highly relational.
So what does a relational ministry look like in action? Two examples might be:
- Greeting children by name
- Knowing children well enough to be able to ask personal questions (Example: How did your piano recital go last week?)
2. Making it PRACTICAL
Children are curious learners. They need to hear, see, smell and touch something before it becomes real for them.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of the Bible. That’s why one of our biggest wins is being able to make God’s Word come to life for our kids.
Have you ever experienced when you can visibly see a child get it? You can see the wheels turning, the thoughts stirring. Some call it a light bulb moment. I can never get enough of those moments. It fires me up.
So, what does it look like to make it practical for kids? Two examples might be:
- Teaching that leads to action
- Kids are able to ask thoughtful questions
3. Making it POWERFUL
We like to end each small group time by inviting the parents into the room so we can say a prayer together as a family. We heard from one child some time ago who said, “That’s the first time I’ve ever prayed with my mom and dad.” Our hearts sank.
I don’t share that story to criticize a family, but to point out how our volunteers have gotten the privilege of teaching our parents what it looks like to pray with their children. There are few things more powerful than that!
It is important to remember that our ministries should be more focused on equipping than entertaining. Power is not found in performance or production, but in Gospel-centered content and God-honoring relationships.
So, what does it look like to create a powerful and memorable experience for kids and families?
- Taking time during the service to pray individually with a child
- Encouraging and affirming parents
The more you celebrate with your team, the more they will own their role. They will be healthier, happier, and eager to serve.