There are two kinds of streams: one that meanders indifferently and another that splashes along briskly without being slowed by anything. While the first kind is non-threatening and placid, the other kind seems harder to control.
But the second stream is going somewhere — today!
There are also two kinds of children’s ministries. Some are uncertain of their destination while others move swiftly with a strong sense of purpose. Just as both streams move water, both kinds of children’s ministries serve children and have loving, dedicated teachers. Both ministries also have a strong desire to make a contribution to the lives of their students, but there’s a big difference that affects children greatly. That difference is found in the ministry’s vision — and how well the teachers live and breathe it.
THE WHITEWATER QUIZ
Does your children’s ministry have a clear vision? Take this quiz to find out.
1. We assertively seek to bring in those who haven’t heard the message of God’s love. yes no
2. We are genuinely loving to anyone who comes to our church, but we have no active programs to reach out to our community. yes no
3. We have intentional programs to bring in new people so they can sample the community of our church. yes no
4. Visitor attendance is low in our church and is usually limited to visiting relatives rather than community members. yes no
5. We follow up all visitors to let them know they’re welcome and wanted back at our church. yes no
6. Children rarely invite guests to our church. yes no
7. Learning experiences are designed to meet learners’ needs. yes no
8. Programs are primarily selected for price, appearance, and convenience. yes no
9. Teachers excitedly learn right along with the children in our program. yes no
10. Getting teachers to regularly teach and attend worship services is a continuing struggle. yes no
Now, take a look at your answers. Tally how many yes answers you had for the even-numbered questions and how many for the odd-numbered questions. If you had more odd-numbered yes answers, your children’s ministry is probably more like the raging stream headed somewhere. If you had more even-numbered yes answers, your children’s ministry may be going somewhere, but it rarely excites the children and volunteers who ride its puny rapids.
But don’t be discouraged! There’s hope right around the next bend. You can reshape the path of your stream.