One of my first programs was a midweek children's program. There
were a lot of choices and activities for the children. We then
started a weekly summer event for children. From these simple
programs, a variety of children's programming grew: Sunday school,
camps, vacation Bible school, day camps, after-school care,
children's choir, and outreach events.
But we didn't start these all at once. We built one new program
at a time. Follow these three guidelines as you build:
- Quality produces quantity. It's important to run an excellent
program no matter how small the program is at first.
- Quantity makes it possible for even more quality! An even
higher quality ministry is possible with larger numbers if the
leaders are careful to maintain quality.
- Quantity that doesn't include the highest quality will be
counterproductive! If you seek numbers only and can't maintain the
highest standard of excellence, your ministry will diminish.
- Choose your curriculum. In choosing good
curriculum, ensure sound biblical teaching combined with student
discovery. If the curriculum has the teacher talking the entire
time, avoid it. The subject matter should be relevant to kids'
lives. And kids should be excited about the activities they're
asked to do. Explore many curriculums to discover the best one for
- Set up your schedule. Ask yourself: When will
each event occur? Will it conflict with other programs? Where will
the event happen? Is the location suited for the program? What
coordination do we need? What planning and publicity are necessary?
Place dates on the master church calendar to guard against
overscheduling and scheduling conflicts.
- Recruit staff. Simply listing personnel needs
and asking for volunteers from the pulpit may produce no response
or may produce volunteers who lack qualifications and fitness. It
might be just as effective to run down the aisle on Sunday morning,
grab "just anyone" amid protest, and hurry them off to a
I've found several simple steps helpful in the recruitment
process. Develop clearly written job descriptions and prayerfully
search for people to match needs. Present the challenge and give
time for potential volunteers to observe the program in action.
Allow people time to seek God's leading. Finally, ask for a
decision and provide pre-service and ongoing in-service