Do you ever feel like you need to refresh your ministry? If so, know two things: one, you’re not alone; two, it’s normal. Taking a step back and making tweaks are important to keep a ministry going strong.
Dick Gruber, a professor of children’s ministry at Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and co-founder of Children’s Ministry University Online, offers his tips for refreshing your ministry. I thought these were simple but highly effective, and wanted to share some of them here with you.
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Refresh Tip 1. Reflect and evaluate. Think back over the last year. What issues did you face? Consider seasons, transitioning kids into or out of your age level, special events, and curriculum. Record what comes to mind-the issues with the most impact are the ones you’ll remember-and note how you’ll approach these same issues in the coming year.
Refresh Tip 2. Prioritize. You want to see kids develop a friendship with Jesus and grow spiritually. What other goals do you have? Start with the most important and write action steps. You don’t have to plan every last detail perfectly-kids are kids, and things won’t always go as planned. But as long as you know specific priorities for your elementary-age kids, you’re on track.
Refresh Tip 3. Plan to motivate. Get to know the kids in your group and their favorite activities, games, and hobbies. What’s big with kids now? Ask parents and kids-find out what they’re excited about. Try tapping several kids’ interests every week.
Refresh Tip 4. Redecorate. Even changing a few posters can make a big difference in your atmosphere. Have kids help with ideas and actual decorating. This builds relationships all around, and it gives kids ownership of your area. Many kids can even help with painting and similar tasks.
Refresh Tip 5. Plan your time. Think about elementary-level attention spans. Breaking your time into 5- to 10-minute activities can help kids focus. Interspersing inactive and active portions of your lesson while employing different learning styles can meet every child’s needs. Organize your time so it benefits kids-and their learning needs-to the fullest.
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As Dick says, “When analyzing and planning, focus on what’s most important to you now-even subtle changes in methodology, decorations, and organization of time can refresh your ministry in a big way.”
Those tips are great when looking to refresh your ministry, but it’s also important to make sure you refresh yourself. Consider going to KidMin 2017. It’s so hard to put into words the refreshment children’s ministers around the world get by coming to this event. With sessions that are focused on renewing your passion, workshops that provide deeper learning, and the ability to have authentic conversations with a community of people in the same boat as you, KidMin is the refreshment you need!
Maybe you need to help refresh volunteer management style and give yourself a leadership boost. If so, may I suggest checking out the Equipping Institute’s Volunteer Leadership Training Events starting soon! You can check out their Facebook page for more information.
How do you keep your ministry refreshed? Let us know in the comment section below!