How to Structure Your Children’s Ministry for Growth In 5 Steps

How to Structure Your Children’s Ministry for Growth In 5 Steps

structureDo you remember growing pains? Not the Kirk Cameron sitcom my generation and older remembers, but the real growing pains you had as a child? You may not, since everyone doesn?t experience them, but I did. I remember the dull pain that came with the change in the structure of my body that was necessary for growth. Good structure is always a critical prerequisite for growth.

Every ministry is built on a number of different structures. Structures for staff, volunteers, finances and facilities. One principle about structure is that it either fuels growth or limits it. When it comes to volunteer structures specifically, here are 5 ways we can structure for growth in our children?s ministry:

Create a Leadership Pipeline

Leadership is just one of many gifts needed in ministry. However, leadership is unique in that its purpose is to align, focus, and maximize every other gift. The foundation of our volunteer structure is leadership, and the first step in structuring for growth is to define a pipeline for leadership. An example of a leadership pipeline would be:?

Team Member ? Leader ??Coach ?Director

Directors lead Coaches, who lead Leaders, who lead Team Members. This is not about value, because all roles are important and necessary. In fact, the Small Group Leader for a child is far more important to them than the Director of the ministry. It?s not about value, but rather about clarity. A leadership pipeline defines roles, determines span of care, and provides the framework for growth.

Limit the Span of Care

The span of care is the number of people that someone can adequately care for as a leader. Our different gifts, personalities, available time and energy all contribute to defining that span, but for the most part we can safely say a volunteer can adequately care for about 6-12 people. As we structure for growth it?s important to decide what the limit will be in terms of the span of care we will expect from each leadership role.

?Re-build the Org Chart

With the leadership pipeline and a span of care limit set, we can re-build our organizational charts around our ministry needs with those two things in mind. The org chart should use the language from the leadership pipeline and ensure nobody has to exceed the span of care we determined. There are many other factors in building an org chart, including the programs we run, roles needed for those programs, how many campuses and services we have, etc. But, the foundation of the org chart should be the pipeline with everything else built around that.

Create Job Descriptions

Once the new org chart is set, we can create job descriptions. Job descriptions sound boring and corporate, and can be a complete waste of time if not implemented correctly. The purpose of a job description is to provide absolute clarity to a volunteer in regards to what is expected of them. The job description should include a clear definition of what the most important thing is in that role. A clear job description also helps us recruit, because we know exactly what we need and the people we invite to serve can know if it?s a fit for them.

Delegate Authority

This entire process of creating a structure for growth is centered around maximizing leadership. All of these steps set the stage for that to happen, but it is up to us to actually delegate authority throughout the structure. Leaders who must control everything are a barrier to growth regardless of any structure that?s put in place. Craig Groeschel says delegating tasks and responsibility creates followers, but delegating authority creates leaders. By delegating authority and empowering leaders throughout the pipeline we create a structure that can scale and fuel growth in our ministry.

Structure either fuels growth or limits it. We need to be out in front with our structure in order to allow for future growth. In addition to that, large growth usually requires a significant change in structure. All of us would love for 50, 100, or 500 new volunteers to sign up this weekend, but could our structure handle it? If not, that?s probably one reason we?re not seeing the kind of influx in volunteers we would like.

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader at Children's Ministry Leader
My passion is seeing the lives of children transformed. I believe the best way to do that is to equip leaders in the local church to serve children, volunteers and parents to invest in the lives of children at church and in the home. That?s what we do here at Children?s Ministry Leader ? equip leaders to create healthy Children?s & Family Ministry.
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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Here’s a great resource to offer your families, created by our friends Sweet Sleep. And it’s free!

Check it out!

#VBS #SweetSleepWelcome to the Sweet Sleep Family Experience!
Join us this summer as we explore what life is like for children and families in Uganda. The program is designed to help families have fun experiences together, while learning some important truths about how God provides True Rest, and how we can learn to love and serve others as He calls us to do.

Check out our website for access to all of these FREE activities 🎉
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Fun is not a 4-letter word. 🙂

#kidmin #youthmin #stumin #fammin #childrensministry #childrensministryleader #kidsministry #pastors #church #ministry
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Stop begging trying to fill the needs in your ministry! IF people respond, it will likely be only short term. Obligatory service doesn’t inspire people to stick around.

Instead, understand the grand vision we are pursuing by investing in children’s lives for eternity!

Practice articulating that vision and start sharing it in every conversation. It’s a privilege and honor to be part of such important service, so INVITE people into that opportunity.

And, of course, never forget the foundation for building our team, found in Luke 10:2: “These were his [Jesus’] instructions to them: ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’”

#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #FamMin #ChildrensMinistry #ChildrensMinistryLeader #KidsMinistry #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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As the kids run to their waiting parents after church on Sunday morning, is that where the impact ends?

Or does the conversation continue at home throughout the week?

Hopefully the answer is the latter. If it’s not, it’s probably because we aren’t engaging and equipping parents to continue the conversation.

And that’s a problem.

Parents are the primary spiritual investors in a child’s life. Good or bad, this is almost always true.

As Children’s Ministry Leaders, our primary role ought to be to “equip God’s people” (Ephesians 4:12). In our case, I believe that means equip our team to invest in the children of our ministry, and to equip the parents of those children to continue the conversations at home.

If you aren’t engaging & equipping parents to continue the conversations that begin at church, then your ministry is incomplete.

If you are engaging and equipping parents, share an example in the comments of how you do that so the rest of us can learn from you.

#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #FamMin #ChildrensMinistry #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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We always hear that children and youth are the church of tomorrow.

Yes, they are.

But they are also part of the church of today.

They are the group most receptive to the Gospel. They are the group most responsive to discipleship.

They also typically represent the largest group in the church, and the one with the most peripheral impact (volunteers, parents, etc).

They are the most vulnerable, physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Why on earth would we ever think we could “babysit” this group while “real ministry” happens with adults?

The truth is, many (most?) churches are not as healthy or strong as they could be because they lack a thriving focus on perhaps the very group that should receive the greatest focus.

You cannot have a healthy church without a healthy ministry to children and families.


#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #ChildrensMinistry #FamMin #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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