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Sell the Sizzle

20 Sure-fire ways to ignite your ministry

Most people want to spend their lives doing something
worthwhile. If you’re trying to convince people that your ministry
is a worthwhile place to spend their time and energy, one of the
most positive things you can do is to cultivate a sense of
excitement when it comes to how people view your ministry.

Think of it this way. Imagine Bill Gates taking an Intro to Mac
class at a community college. Or Martha Stewart enrolling in Crafts
101. These things probably wouldn’t happen because the situations
simply don’t fit these people’s images. People’s perception becomes
their individual reality.

If people perceive that your children’s ministry is a massive
diaper-changing station and only exists to provide child care for
adult services, they’re far less likely to link arms and join your
team. It’s up to you to give them something positive to talk

Here are 20 budget-friendly ways you can sell the sizzle to your
church leadership and potential volunteers-and put your ministry on
the front burner in the process.

1. Brand your ministry. If your ministry doesn’t
already have a logo or tag line, work with your key leaders to
develop one. Just like Toyota or McDonald’s, you need to send a
clear, consistent message that the children’s ministry is “moving
forward” and that you’re “lovin’ it.”

2. Impress your senior pastor. Every chance you
get-especially at team meetings — share wins that take place in
your ministry. Whenever you’re in front of leaders, your goal is to
be as positive as possible. Think of all the circles your senior
pastor travels in; he or she has the ability to change the shape of
recruiting woes and image problems if you’ve communicated the
exciting, positive happenings effectively. Leaders love numbers, so
provide statistics about your ministry whenever possible. Save
problems and concerns for private conversations — not for public
consumption at team meetings.

3. Create great programs. It’s better to do a
handful of really, truly great things than a boatload of mediocre
programs that produce a lackluster response. Let go of
underperforming events and focus your best efforts on infusing
greatness into your top programs and events — if those are indeed
the ones that God is calling you to conduct.

4. Designate a mascot. Sports teams have them
and people love them. Your ministry can only benefit from a
well-chosen, unique mascot. Take a trip to your local fabric store
and dream about your Kids’ Club Koala. Your mascot could visit kids
in the hospital, celebrate birthdays, and spice up church picnics.
Mascots communicate a sense of belonging, kid-friendliness, and
humor — critical ingredients in any successful children’s

5. Support your leadership. Make your ministry
visible at leadership and wider church events by volunteering to
have kids serve, participate, or lend their talents. Just imagine
your kids marching in with yellow hard hats at the ground-breaking
ceremony and the jolt of support your leaders will feel.

6. Demonstrate consistent professionalism. At
every point of contact, you have a responsibility to provide
excellent customer service to your congregation, families, kids,
and leaders. Every volunteer, greeter, and leader on your team is
under a microscope, especially by guests and your newest members.
You set the tone for how they’ll perform.

7. Spend money on your signs. Professional signage
is a must if you want to polish your ministry’s image. Paper signs
taped to walls and curled at the edges say your ministry is an
afterthought. Professional-quality signs with your logo marking
age-level locations, restrooms, check-in booths, and worship areas
tell people your ministry matters.

8. Self-publish. Print a biweekly or monthly
newsletter that highlights what your ministry is doing. Don’t slap
something together; misspelled words and poor design send the wrong
message. Find people who can help make your newsletter top-notch
when it comes to grammar, images, content, and layout.

9. Get Web savvy. Web sites are inexpensive to
set up and operate, and there are probably several teenagers in
your church who’d run one for free. Create an engaging, informative
site for families that lays out your mission and vision and your
plans to achieve them.

10. Create a brochure. If your ministry publishes
a volunteer ministry brochure every year, take a different
approach. Rather than printing a three-page list of all your
ministry needs — positions, money, donations, toys — offer the
vision with a small sampling of general opportunities. Then
highlight all the “wow” experiences taking place in your ministry
and the goals your team is working toward. People are more likely
to join your team if you project forward movement.

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