Everything we do here at Children’s Ministry Leader is on purpose and follows a framework that Greg Baird (founder of Children’s Ministry Leader) developed during 20 years of serving as a Children’s & Family Pastor.
Greg served in churches ranging in attendance from 250 to 9000. He served in mobile churches meeting in schools to one which had state of the art Wacky World designed environments. Under supportive Lead Pastors and, well, not so supportive Lead Pastors. He was the first Children’s Pastor at 2 churches and inherited a disaster in the third (he was 6th Children’s Pastor/Director in 18 months!).
What Greg found was that there were common elements necessary for leading in each of these situations. Every situation was unique, but every one of them required a focus on these areas.
This framework is the basis for all of Greg’s writing, coaching, speaking and consulting.
Children’s Ministry Leader operates within a model that we believe provides a foundation for healthy children’s ministry in any church – regardless of size, location, denomination, culture, etc. This model incorporates 7 strategic essentials necessary for any children’s ministry to thrive.
These elements include:
- Establishing a clear & compelling vision. The starting point for healthy ministry. Without this ministry quickly succumbs to rote actions and, often, simple childcare. People become confused & complacent in response to the ministry.
- Evaluating everything. Evaluation – constant & consequential – is necessary to maintaining a clear understanding of the health of any ministry. Systems, processes & growth can only be created with an understanding of current dynamics.
- Embracing spiritual formation. This begins with acknowledging parents as primary spiritual influencers (and acting on that belief) and continues into having an intentional plan for spiritual formation within the church – and connecting the two.
- Equipping your team for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12). Our role as church leaders is not to do everything, but to equip others in the church to do the work.
- Engaging children for life change (within the environments we create at church). These environments should be:
- Child-centered: safe, attractive & age-appropriate;
- Application-oriented: easily understood & applied in practical ways in the child’s everyday life;
- Relational: built on strong, positive & on-going adult/child relationships;
- Creative: dynamic & attractive to children & incorporating many different forms of communication;
- Fun: a place a child wants to come to & would be happy to invite their friends.
- Expanding leadership capacity. Your ministry will only rise to the level that your leadership can take it. Develop leaders, grow your ministry.
- Envisioning greater ministry. This is the outcome of the first 6 elements being established and cultivated in your ministry. New ministry initiatives (outreach, small groups, family ministry, more innovative programming, etc.) are far more easily developed when healthy ministry foundations are in place.
Focus on developing these elements and you will move your ministry toward greater health.