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Shout the Good News


16. Give faithfully. Put your offering in the offering plate -- not for show, but because it's the right thing to do.

17. Display your crowd-pleasing wares. Display the preschool and kindergarten crafts in the lobby one Sunday. Have the kids file up to the front of the church to sing a few songs. Show videos of your children's ministry -- with lots of choice quotes from kids of all ages.

18. Have an open house. Twice a year, invite parents to attend Sunday school with their children. Ensure that every class is well-staffed, and provide special refreshments afterward.

19. Show that you care. Visit someone who's sick in the hospital or at home. Send anniversary and birthday cards to your board and staff members.

20. Read about good public relations from the sources. The Web site www.realworldpr.com/index.htm is a great place to start, but any business publication such as Fast Company magazine (www.fastcompany.com) can speed up your learning curve in the field of public relations.

21. Visit classes. Visit every classroom and teacher every Sunday so they see you seeing them. People rarely remember what you say, they rarely remember what you do, but they'll never forget the way you make them feel.

22. Work on positive staff relations. It'll show. Say good things about your senior pastor's sermon at the next staff meeting. Ask the choir director if you can sit in on practice one night just because you want to. Ask the youth pastor what you can pray for this month. Be kind and considerate whenever you speak to the custodian. For extra credit, help set up a room sometime. Attend the board retreat. Listen and ask questions rather than making statements or observations.

23. Communicate well. Update your phone message daily, stating where you'll be that day. This little task takes less than a minute, but you'll be amazed at how many people will be impressed by your initiative and industry. Let everyone know when you'll be on vacation.

24. Serve in other areas. If your church has a clean-up day, make sure you show up to work. For extra credit, help out in the men's or women's ministry area of the church, or scrub the church sign out front -- work somewhere besides your area. Serve lunch at a Habitat for Humanity site, compliments of your children's ministry.

25. Go online. Start a Web site for your children's ministry that communicates the vision for your program as well as coming events. Add a link to your site on the front page of your church's Web site, too. And update it regularly.

26. Improve bathroom odors. Have you ever walked into a restroom and just felt repelled? A simple act of changing the air freshener or getting automatic fragrance dispensers will overcome the nasties.

27. Broadcast good news. Submit a bulletin insert before the deadline, and have something positive to say in every church monthly newsletter. Create press releases for your main ministry events that are open to your community, and share results afterward. For tips on how to write a good press release, go to www.infoscavenger.com/prtips.htm or www.palis.com/private/VR115.HTM. Or you can pay to have someone else do it at www.press-release-writing.com. Remember, the distribution of the press release is as important as the document itself.

28. Get involved at school. Attend Open House Night at school with your children. Or attend even if you don't have children. Spend a lunchtime with kids from your ministry at their school. Chances are they'll invite their friends and become the envy of the school if you bring fast food.

29. Wow your volunteers. Serve snacks to your volunteers each Sunday morning. Include flavored coffee that's different from the normal coffee offered to the church. Feed volunteers' children, too.

30. Say thanks first. Thank volunteers for serving in children's ministry before asking them if they'd like to volunteer for next year. Even better, thank them in front of the children they serve, the parents they support, and the peers they serve with.

31. Provide signage that's visitor-oriented and child-friendly. Ask a colleague who doesn't attend your church to visit one Sunday and review what you need to do to communicate to parents and children more effectively. Imprint polo shirts with your children's ministry logo for all your team members.

32. Proofread your letters. There's nothing like a misspelled document to communicate carelessness, laziness, or ignorance. If necessary, have someone else proofread for you.

Keith Johnson is the national field services manager for Group Publishing.

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