Creative ways to get people off the bench and into your children’s ministry.
“Play ball!” When the umpire calls out this familiar refrain, everyone’s in his or her place! The front office is providing support, spectators have settled in for a good show, raving fans are ready to cheer, and coaches are eager to execute their game plan.
If you think about your ministry as a sporting event, you’ve got all these people in their places, too. How do you play your game in a way that shows appreciation to all these people and involves them in ministry at their level?
Say it again…”Let’s play ball!”
Front office people are often the first contact newcomers have with your church. The front office often fields questions about children’s ministry before people contact your actual children’s ministry. Applaud your church secretaries and office assistants for representing your children’s ministry well.
“More often than not, this group is the most overworked and underacknowledged,” says Jennifer Ward, a children’s minister from Chester, Virginia “Because they often handle responsibilities for other areas of the church besides children’s ministry, they can be forgotten as a part of the team. Treat them the same as your children’s ministry team members.”
• Explain why. They need to know why those mailings, phone calls, copies, and more that they work on are so important. Involve them in the process of whatever you’re asking them to do rather than handing over a “to do” list with due dates.
Encourage, encourage, encourage! Invite them to a team meeting or team event so they can meet and get to know the people with whom they’re serving. Communicate how people are touched by their help.
• Explain what. Spend time talking to the front office about children’s ministry. Spark their interest in all that God is doing in and through your ministry. Share success stories. This will cause them to get behind you and support what you’re doing.
“Relevant information is the key to involving the front office,” explains Eric Echols, a children’s minister from Lawrenceville, Georgia. “If they know what’s happening in the children’s ministry, they’ll be better equipped to field initial questions. Provide email updates, relevant promotional pieces, and brochures and handouts that communicate the vision and values of your children’s ministry in a comprehensive and concise way.”
• Off-the-Bench Ideas-Why not send flowers to the front office or at least always have reserved seating for them and their family at the special functions they’re promoting so often?
To say thanks and win continued support, provide a free babysitting evening for them after they’ve helped in a big way for one of your events.