How to Build a Children’s Ministry


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Oh! There you are! You’ve figured out this upside-down page-that
you need to read from the bottom up. And now we’ll explore how you
can develop a children’s ministry from the bottom up. Or, if you’ve
already begun, how you can turn it around.

So let’s get started!

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
  • 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.


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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.


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