Let the Little Ones Come: Preschool Ministry
Prior to the birth of each of our daughters, we purchased an elegant, lovely silver photo album to collect photos of the most cherished of memories as they grew. As soon as they were born, we inserted their photo into the front cover and wrote out the details of their birth—their name, birth date, delivery time, and weight. Each photo album contained pages of empty pockets just waiting for photos to be inserted.
Often times I would thumb through the empty pages imagining what events lie ahead for my daughters that would eventually be contained on each album’s page.
In many ways, the children we serve are like those empty albums. Each child is a unique individual, made in God’s image, and from the moment of their birth we are given the opportunity to add to their “album” and help them form their picture of God, themselves, and their world.
Studies continue to reveal that in the first five years of life a child forms these impressions. Therefore, a vibrant preschool ministry can lay a solid foundation for faith formation and spiritual development that all other ministries of the church can build upon as the child grows and matures.
Preschool ministry should be more than just a babysitting service provided to parents and the congregation. It can be a foundation laying ministry, preparing the hearts and minds of the smallest members of the church congregation for a lifelong relationship with God.
Ideas You Can Use
Scheduling Your Time
If I’ve learned anything in nearly twenty-five years of continuous ministry to children, it’s that the success of my ministry time with kids is inescapably linked to the effort and time I put into planning my time with them.
Maintaining Good Behavior
It is possible to strike the right balance in discipline while maintaining a happier and productive learning environment.
Memorizing Bible Scripture
Preschool children can be one of the greatest age groups to teach because they are often like a sponge, soaking up every bit of content that you share with them. With a little activity repetition, preschoolers can learn and memorize some of the most cherished Bible verses.
Handling Anxious Kids
Separation anxiety is one of the greatest challenges that both preschool ministers and the parents they serve have to face. Understanding the common reasons for separation anxiety can often help us more lovingly and patiently see our children and their parents through this phase of their development.
Using Learning Centers
Learning centers help add fun and diverse opportunities that provide times of activity and instruction. Some learning centers can be set-up and available to the children as they arrive, while others may be utilized during class time to keep children engaged and moving during your ministry.
How Preschoolers Learn
Preschoolers are beginning their journey of understanding in all areas. As far as our ministries are concerned, this means they are forming their understanding of who they are, who God is, and how they relate to Him.
Having served in ministry for 24 years, Shaun has done just about everything there is to do in children’s ministry. Presently, he and his wife serve as preschool pastors of the Peerless Road Church in Cleveland, Tennessee. He also serves as Administrative Liaison to the General Overseer and Prayer Ministries Coordinator at the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices also in Cleveland.