When I was first hired as a part-time
children's ministry leader, I had no formal experience. Sure, I'd
volunteered for Sunday school and helped out during VBS, but when I
stepped up to being a children's ministry director, I found that it
was a totally different experience.
Maybe your experience is like mine and you are
just starting your journey as a children's ministry leader, or
maybe you've been thrown into the job unexpectedly. Whatever the
case, here are some must-do's to help you get on the right track to
1. Pick out a
curriculum-Around 1 in 5 churches write their own
children's ministry curriculum, and for a long time I was included
in that group. Freelance writer Valerie Van Kooten wrote
an interesting article about the cons to writing your own
materials. While every situation is different, many find that
the challenge to prepare and test lessons beforehand can be
extremely draining. Check out
this guide to help you find the right curriculum for you.
2. Recruit a team-You're only
as good as your team, so here are some quick tips for volunteers.
When you recruit, do it one-on-one; mass announcements won't help.
Find jobs that fit your volunteers-don't force them into something
they're not made for. And finally, don't forget to train them. Check out
this article for more tips from those in the trenches.
3. Safety first-As you build
your team, screen incoming volunteers. I've heard some people say
that doing background checks is extreme, but when you consider that
nearly 1 out of 10 people who volunteer to work with kids has a
criminal conviction on their record, background checks are
essential. Don't worry, it's super easy to do checks like these
with programs like Shepherd's Watch.
4. Set a budget-If you never
experienced a leadership role in children's ministry, the budget
might be the last thing on your mind. But budgeting is an important
part of being a good steward of your church's funds. This
article will help you learn the in's and out's of setting a
budget for your ministry. Not only will you be financially
responsible, it will help you discover what your ministry's goals
5. Make a plan and work it-During her second
interview for a children's ministry director job, Lois Lindberg had
a moment of panic. She was overwhelmed when saw binders and binders
kids' registration forms. But she got the job, and with good
planning she flourished. Read
her story here and find out why planning can make all the
So there you are, five tips to help you
succeed in your new role as a ministry leader. And make sure to
check out the latest issue of
Children's Ministry Magazine, where we talk about the biggest
time wasters for children's ministry leaders. It's really
surprising what these experts say!
If you're just starting out in children's
ministry, as a leader or a volunteer, let us know! We'd love to
pray for you and your new adventure in ministry! Share with us
using the comment section below!