7 Characteristics of Breakout Children’s Ministries

7 Characteristics of Breakout Children’s Ministries

breakout1Do you want your children’s ministry to grow?

Do you want to get beyond babysitting?

Do you want to involve others & move past needing to do everything yourself (or with just the “regular” volunteers)?

Of course, we all want these things in our ministries. We want momentum, engagement, high participation and, more than anything, impact.

Here are a few characteristics I’ve observed of what I would call breakout children’s ministries:

1. It’s a God thing

 A couple of my favorite quotes are from Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales. They go like this, and I think they speak for themselves:

“The most important thing is not the work I can do for God. The most important thing is to make God the most important thing.”

“The impact God has planned for us doesn’t occur when we’re pursuing impact. It occurs when we’re pursuing God.”

2. Focus is on the Gospel.

Isn’t this what we’re supposed to be all about? Then why do we get so caught up in environment, communication techniques, relationships, curriculum, etc.? Are all those important? They are absolutely critical!! But if they don’t ultimately lead to a focus on the Gospel, none of them really mean a whole lot.

3. Alignment matters. 

The leaders of your church should have a very specific vision. Your children’s ministry must be carefully & intentionally aligned with this vision or, sooner or later, you can no longer be effective and, most likely, will cause dissension.

4. Stories tell the vision. 

A vision statement up on the wall is great, but most of this time it won’t inspire response. I love this quote by Ally Evans:

“There are 2 Steps to Growing Your Kidmin: Create a culture of invitation & share stories all the time.”

Vision will be communicated by the stories you tell. Drive change, recruitment, parent engagement – virtually everything! – through telling these stories.

5. Everything rises and falls on leadership.

You didn’t really think I wouldn’t include this one, did you? 🙂 The longer I’m in ministry, the more deeply I believe this. What does this mean? That the primary responsibility of leadership (you and me!) is to equip & develop leaders.

6. Families are engaged. 

Practical equipping is the rule. Service opportunities are offered. Spiritual formation in children is primarily about what parents are and do, not what happens at church. Communication is excellent. These types of things are critical.

7. Calendars are clipped. 

To many of us think our success is dependent on the number of items on the children’s ministry calendar. In a sense this is true – you can tell a person’s (or ministries’) priorities by looking at how they invest their time & their money. In the case of children’s ministry, however, less is more. We are very good at dividing and running our families into the ground. Stop doing this, focus only on what matters most, and watch your ministry grow.

What would you add? 

(please share in comments below)

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader & Vice President of Global Resources at David C Cook
The most important thing to know about me is that I am blessed beyond measure to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to have married way over my head to my wife, Michele, and that I have two incredible grown sons named Taylor and Garret.

I serve as the Vice President of Global Resources in the Global Mission department at David C. Cook.

I love what I do as it is the outflow of 25 years of ministry experience as Children’s, Family & Administrative Pastor, consultant, trainer, speaker and short-term missions leader.

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