I’ve built a children’s ministry from the bottom up. Six years ago, our church had two children in preschool and four in the combined elementary Sunday school class, no midweek program, and only two or three kids in children’s church. Today 100 children fill our children’s program.
How could we have had so few children six years ago and over 100 today? There were several key steps we took. Here are the steps you can also take to build your children’s ministry:
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- Pray. Seek God’s will in prayer and share your prayerful concern and vision with others. Pray weekly with interested people about your children’s ministry.
- Count the cost. Luke 14:28 says, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? (NIV)” Building a children’s ministry will cost you and your congregation time, money, and emotions. Don’t start without considering whether you’re willing to pay the price.
- Develop your goals and philosophy. Any basic philosophy of children’s ministry should address the needs of children and their relationship to Christ. As you develop your philosophy, consider children’s four basic needs: love and acceptance, security, varied and meaningful activities with choices, and realistic, consistent behavior expectations and discipline.
- Establish goals and objectives. Brainstorm the necessary goals and objectives to fulfill your philosophy. Objectives need to be unique to fit your church. They also need to be reachable, measurable, understandable, specific, and realistic. Prioritize each objective.
- Dream big but live in reality. Look with growth eyes. Dream and catch a vision. One important lesson to learn is that the success or failure of your children’s ministry depends on your ability to refashion your dreams to fit reality! Some dreams may be accomplished right away. Some may take a year or two. Some may never be accomplished. You’ll have to modify your dreams. It’ll take time and patience.
- Plan your program. How will each objective be accomplished? Who’ll be responsible? What facilities are necessary? What supplies are needed? Who’ll supply what? Who do you need to coordinate with? How will you publicize? What’s the time line? Establish a completion date for each detail of preparation.