Do you ever feel like your
ministry needs refreshing? 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. In the July/August
issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine, 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 (cmuo.com), gave us his tips for refreshing your
ministry. I thought these were simple but highly effective, and
wanted to share some of them here with you.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
As Dick says in his column, “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 2013. 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! Dick Gruber, the
Skit Guys, and the worship band Leeland will all be there, and you
could be there, too!
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!