Why Doesn’t Johnny Have Friends in Your Ministry?


Kids’ relationships need tools, effort, and time to build. It can be challenging for your kids to build lasting friendships, though, when they may only see each other for one hour a week. But it’s relationships, especially the well-constructed ones, that draw kids to your ministry and ultimately help them experience the most important relationship of all — their relationship with Jesus.

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So why not make kids’ relationships the foundation in the solid, lasting structure of your ministry? Friendships are the true nuts and bolts of what shores up your ministry. These six great ideas — all from children’s ministers just like you — give kids a blueprint to build lasting, solid relationships with other kids at your church.

Speed Friends

This speedy experience lets kids quickly learn more about the kids in their class.

Best for: Ages 9 to 12

Kids love our Sunday School resources!

Tools: Chairs, a white board, erasable markers

Blueprints: Form two circles with chairs — an inner circle facing out and an outer circle facing the center. The chairs should be facing each other in pairs. Have kids each choose a chair. On “go,” kids have three minutes to ask each other the following questions (write them on the board first):

• What’s your best subject in school? your worst?

• If you could be a professional athlete, what sport would you choose?

• If you could choose anyone, who would you spend an entire day with this weekend? Why?

Every three minutes have the inner circle move clockwise and the outer circle move counterclockwise. Kids start over with a new partner and the same questions in this friendship- building game.

Gordon and Becki
West Mesa, Arizona

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Children's Ministry Magazine

Children's Ministry Magazine is the most read magazine for people who minister to children from birth through sixth grade. We're partnering with you to make Jesus irresistible to kids.


  1. Susan Trumblay on

    Great ideas – However Sadly they won’t work with my Sunday School Class. You assume there are a LOT of kids, when you post these ideas. But I live in a poor country town – less than 6,000. I have at most 4 kids in my class – that is if everyone is there! I have an 8 yr. old w/dyslexia and ADHD, one 10 yr. old with ADHD, and a 12 yr. old and a 13 y. old – both SUPER smart – one has Asberger’s. I need help in reaching all of them and I need HELP!!
    The the 13 yr. old girl w/Asberger’s, is my adopted child (her parent’s were homeless and had many mental issues); the other 3 (boys) started coming on their own w/no parents. They live behind the church. They are spiritually hungry and I am trying to keept hem connected to church, but I REALLY need help.
    I feed breakfast, which is a way to feed their tummies, so they can concentrate on the spiritual food. But I am begging for help in ways to keep them spiritually fed, and hungry for more! Any ideas?

    Susan in Marlin, Texas

  2. I use freesundayschoolcurriculum.weebly.com for my class from ages 4-10 All of us do the same story and then there are things for all diff ages to color or make or puzzles….

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For more great articles like this, subscribe to our magazine. Order a subscription and get 40% off the cover price PLUS our 3 most popular holiday guides FREE!