Posts tagged ‘Children’s ministry’

Dozen Ways to be More Effective in Children’s Ministry

The soul is healed by being with children. ~ English proverb

The soul is healed by being with children. ~ English proverb

Working with children whether in church, school or in the home, is work that should be applauded and encouraged.

  • Children are one-third of our population and all of our future. ~ Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981
  • Children make your life important. ~ Erma Bombeck, author
  • If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God! ~Dwight L. Moody, evangelist
  • Every child needs a champion. ~ Hillary Rodham Clinton, former US Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States

And of course working with kiddos is hard work at times.

  • Having children is like living in a frat house – nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up. ~ Ray Romano, actor and comedian

Since part of my job and ministry is working with children from nursery through 5th grade, I am always on the lookout for how I can be a better pastor, leader and volunteer. So let me ask YOU a question, what are things you do to be effective in your ministry to children?

Here are a dozen of my ideas.

1. Praymost effective thing you can do for them.

  • Pray for behavioral, emotional, spiritual, and mental growth of the kiddos in your class.
  • Pray and ask God if there is one child or one family He wants you to focus on outside of class.
  • Pray for the kiddos to have an open heart to the gospel and spiritual growth.

2. Pray – most effective thing you can do for yourself.

  • Pray for your own growth in love, faithfulness, and maturity.
  • Pray that the information you’ll be teaching has an impact on their lives today and in the future.
  • Pray for effectiveness in how you teach.

3. Study – even if it is for the littlest of children because you are . . .

  • Building their base of knowledge about the Bible and church.
  • Making yourself a usable vehicle.
  • Enhancing your own devotional life – which you can share with adults (helpers, teachers and parents)

4. Connect with class kiddos as individuals – bimonthly is good.

  • A card reinforcing an idea.
  • A call to complement them on something.
  • a “date” – to spend one-on-one time.

5. Connect with parents/grandparents as individuals – Quarterly is good.

  • A card reinforcing an idea.
  • A call to complement them on something.
  • a “date” – to spend one-on-one time.

6. Give thanks 

  • Send a note to someone who helped in your class today.
  • Send a note to a parent/grandparent for a specific way they are raising their child(ren) well.
  • Send a note to a pastor, custodian or admin who support your ministry.

7. Plan for Fun – It is hard-wired into kiddos

  • What can you do that’s fun with the Scripture?
  • What can you that’s fun with the craft?
  • What can you do that’s fun with story time?

8. Sharpen your skills/giftings – there is always something to learn.

  • Interview people from another church that do the same ministry you do. Ask their advice on areas you’d like to improve. Share your info with helpers, teachers, and the director of Nursery and Children’s Director/Pastor.
  • Read books that can hone your skills and give you ideas. One such book is this one on kids and worship, Teaching Kids Authentic Worship: How to Keep Them Close to God for Life by Kathleen Chapman.
  • Get feedback from others in your ministry as to how you can improve.

9. Update your room – how it looks really does influence the behaviour of the children and the opinion of parents/grandparents.

  • Change up the room set-up every once in a while so that it is always attractive, appealing, and usable.
  • Leave it clean for the next class.
  • Hang up the children’s work and do what you can to make them feel like the room is theirs.
  • Teach and model to the children room cleanup. Show them how to clean up after themselves, put things away when they are done, and before pulling another toy out.
  • At the end of class have the children ready to go home. Shoes on, go potty, gather belongings etc.

10. Keep on top of your spiritual life – spend time on your own relationship with God.

  • Attend the adult service.
  • Ask God to empower your teaching, embolden your words, and make you a better “lover.”
  • Make prayer, study, confession, meditation and other spiritual disciplines a priority

11. Celebrate – take notice of what’s going on in your ministry and celebrate. Look for things like . . .

  • Answered prayer.
  • New volunteers.
  • The faithfulness and growth of the kiddos, volunteers, and yourself.

12. Improve – pray and think about ways to improve your ministry in areas such as . . .

  • Outreach.
  • Curriculum.
  • Volunteer attraction and growth (this doesn’t have to be the job of the Nursery and Children’s Director/Pastor only).

Your Turn . . .  What would you add to this list? . . .  What have you tried and how did it work?

Related Posts   . . . 

NOTE: This post spurred me on to write a list. I am grateful for their ideas, as I was impacted by most of them.

 

 

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85% of People Who Make Decisions for Christ do so Between the Ages of 4-14

Dear Children’s Ministry Worker,

What can we do so that children ages 4-14 find church a good place to participate in?

What can we do so that children ages 4-14 find church a good place to be?

FOUR out of Five (roughly) kiddos that you interact with, teach, help, and love on will become a Believer.

  • What you do is important.
  • You ALL are making a huge difference RIGHT now and for eternity.

THANKS for your awesome ministry.

Your Turn . . .

  1. What do you think about this statistic and your volunteer hours in children’s ministry?
  2. What changes could you/we make that will impact our 4-14 year olds?
  3. What could you/we do more often?

Related Posts . . .

NOTE: This post by Melissa MacDonald inspired the above post on the same topic.

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Bulletin Board Gives Reason to Stop Worrying and to Praise God

“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere”  (Glenn Turner).

And yet how many of us are self-confessed worry-warts?  We admit to this like it’s a harmless trait. Since it is harmless nothing bad comes of worrying, we conclude, except for a night’s loss of sleep and an upset stomach.

Thinking on verses like these help us find truth: God sees us and provides for us. Therefore worry NOT.

But what is the definition of worry? Here are a few thoughts from the dictionaries.

  • To feel uneasy, anxious, distressed, troubled, or concerned about something
  • To disturb one’s peace of mind
  • To torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts
  • To fret

So it’s a lie that worrying is harmless. It disturbs our thinking, robs our peace, and generates negative physical reactions in our body.

Left unchecked worry leads to fear.

There’s an Antidote to Worry . . . “But in those moments when I have found myself gasping for air, feeling that I was going under, I discovered that gratitude truly is my lifesaver. ”

“Even in the most turbulent waters . . .

  • Choosing gratitude rescues me from myself and my runaway emotions.
  • It buoys me on the grace of God, and
  • Keeps me from drowning in what otherwise would be my natural bent toward doubt … negativity … discouragement … and anxiety.” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude, 17)

This verse, Matthew 6:26, tells us we don’t need to worry. Since God sees the sparrows and provides for them, won’t He do the same for us? God sees our situations. He knows our needs. He will provide.

If we really believed such news, such marvelous truth, wouldn’t our response be one of gratitude … peace of mind and body … trust in God?

That’s my prayer for you and for me today. That we’d be full of gratitude.

Let’s believe Scripture. Let’s concentrate on gratitude and squash worrying.

“Cultivating a thankful heart is a safeguard against becoming bitter … prickly … and sour. A grateful child of God can’t but help but be a joyful … peaceful … radiant person.” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude, 17)

_______________________________________________________________

During November I am writing or posting a photo about something for which I am grateful. This explains why. 

Gratitude for November 9: I am grateful for the insight, godliness, warmth, and frankness of Barb Wilber. She is a life coach and has been helping me sort out a few things.

________________________________________________________________

Your Turn . . . Are you a worry – wart? . . . Has this post helped you to see worrying in a different light? . . . What is something on your gratitude list

Related Post . . . God is in Control

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NOTE: This bulletin board is in the Children’s Ministry Hallway at church. I got the idea for it from That Artist Woman. I wove the nest. Carol did the rest. Isn’t she awesome?!

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10 Actions Parents Can Take for a Happier Morning at Church

Time spent at church (or some other place that requires a quiet, behaved child) can either be stressful or peaceful. Too many times it is stressful. Our children know what buttons to push to get us to react wildly instead of respond calmly.

As parents and adults we can change this situation. We can change the environment and our responses so that when the buttons are pushed, our responses contribute to peace not chaos. Below are 10 ideas that can turn stress into peace.

1. Assess your morning for hotspots. Think back over the past month of Sundays. What were the typical problem behaviors? Before you can formulate a plan, you need to document what is actually happening.

2. Begin dealing with these hotspots. Write down how you’d like your child to behave. Pray and ask the Lord for wisdom. Does the Bible tell you what to do? Ask other parents or your children’s pastor for ideas, resources, and support. Use the bookstore, library, and Google as resources as well. Formulate a plan with your spouse and then consistently apply your “answers.”

3. Bring something for your child to do if you keep him/her with you in the service. There are many “quiet” toys that are ideal for this time: a coloring book and crayons, a doll or action figure, a puzzle, a book. Keep these items put away in a bag that you bring out only on Sundays. That way the toys will be “novel” and better hold the attention of your child.

4. Don’t expect your child to be perfect. Have a reasonable expectation according to their age. If s/he is very wiggly, perhaps there is a Sunday school class or nursery for their age. Or if you prefer, go to the cry room so the child can walk around.

5. Explain what you expect and why. Even little ones need to know which behavior is acceptable at church and which behaviors are not. Through consistency on your part and a maturing on theirs, they will soon learn proper church etiquette. It is never too soon to learn how to be obedient. This pleases God.

6. Get proper rest and nutrition. Make sure you and your child have had enough sleep and a nutritious breakfast before coming to church. Both will help ensure that you can be on your best behavior. It is hard to pay attention or even be nice when you are grumpy from lack of sleep or food.

7. Plan ahead. Set out church clothes – including socks and shoes – the night before. Allow plenty of time to get ready in the morning. Plan ahead what you’ll have for Sunday breakfast. Put your Bible, notebook and toy bag by the front door or in the car on Saturday night. Spending a half hour on Saturday night doing these things will make Sunday flow much better. Everyone will then arrive at church in a more peaceful mood. This means less acting out behavior in Sunday school and/or in the Service.

8. Provide a snack. This is especially good if you didn’t have time for a hearty breakfast or if it is getting close to lunch time. Bring snacks that are not overly messy (anything chocolate coated), overly noisy (anything in crinkly wrappers), or overly laden with sugar (otherwise your child could be running around in a fit of sugar fueled frenzy while you are trying to visit after the service is over). Apple slices and cheese or a little box of raisins are two ideas. Again try to bring foods that are reserved only for Sunday church time.

9. Pray and ask God to reveal what you could do. God is the revealer of wisdom. He knows you and your child’s needs. Sometimes God answers through that still, quiet voice. But He also answers through the Bible, other people, and circumstances. God does not give answers that conflict with each other or conflicts with Biblical principles. Keep seeking until you have a workable plan. Then put it into action. What can you do today?

10. Set a good example. Model the behavior you want your child to copy. Respectfully listen. Participate in singing, prayers, and greeting time. Give your child a notebook and pencil so s/he can also take notes just like you. Respectfully and quietly correct misbehavior. Be sure to praise the good behavior especially if it is new.

Go here for 14 Ways to Stop the Morning Madness (from imom).

Related Post . . . 10 Things to Teach Your Child About Behaving in Church

Your Turn . . . What have you done that has worked well for you?


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10 Things to Teach Your Child About Behaving in Church

Teaching your children how to behave in church (or other places they need to be quiet) is an on-going training session and sometimes a battle.

  • If your child learns to have a quiet body, it will make it easier for those around him/her to focus and enjoy the experience more.
  • If your child learns to have a quiet mind, it  will help him/her learn how to focus and enjoy the experience for him/herself more.

Below are ten ideas (in quiz form) to discuss with your child over several weeks/months. As a refresher or to check how much s/he knows or remembers, take this quiz together.

Fill in the blanks from the following list of words. All the words are used only once.

A Message … Best … Bow … Giggling … Pew … Quietly … Run … Sermon … Service … Think About

  1. As you sing the worship songs, ______   ______ the words.
  2. Be on your ______ behavior.
  3. ______ your head during prayer.
  4. Don’t rattle or throw papers, donation envelopes, etc. during the ______.
  5. Expect to hear______   ______  from God.
  6. It is best to not ______ in the sanctuary.
  7. Keep your feet, pens and sticky food off _____ cushions.
  8. Listen to the ______.
  9. No ______, whispering, or talking.
  10. Sit ________.
To find the answers, click on the More button below. 

Your Turn . . .

  1. How well did you do? How well did your child do?
  2. What would you add to this list?
  3. Take off the list?

Related Post . . . 10 Actions Parents Can Take for a Happier Morning at Church

(more…)

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