I’ve Just Started in Children’s Ministries! What’s Next?
You have just committed to serving as the leader of children’s ministry for your local church. There may be so many ideas and thoughts running through your head that you don’t know where to begin. This quick start guide is for you! Here’s a quick overview from our Children’s Ministries Handbook to get you started on your journey in children’s ministry.
Together discuss both of your expectations for this ministry and create a shared listed of expectations. Set a time to meet again once you have been able to work through the other steps in the quick start guide.
Too often, plans begin with our ideas instead of God’s ideas. Before you do anything, spend time seeking God’s heart for the children’s ministry of your local church. Ask several people to meet with you and have a dedicated time to seek God’s will for children. Provide each person with a prayer guide to use in their individual prayer times. You want the ministry continually covered in prayer.
Many children’s ministries exist for three purposes: evangelism, discipleship, and engaging kids in service. What will be the goals or purposes of your local ministry? What ages will be included in your ministry? For example, do you have enough volunteers to have a nursery, preschool, and elementary ministry or should you begin with a focus on just one of those age groups?
Consider that effective ministry cannot take place with all age levels (nursery, preschool, and elementary) taught at the same time, by the same person, in the same room.
Once you know your goals and target group, make a list of all programs currently being offered to children in your church: Sunday school, children’s church, Wednesday night Bible club, outreach ministry etc. Compare those programs to your goals and target group. You may need to eliminate or add programs depending on your purposes and goals.
Consider the physical limitations of your meeting space. What space can be dedicated to children’s ministry? Will you be able to offer children’s programs during adult services or will you need to plan ministry to children at a separate time? Once your space has been chosen, make sure it is clean and inviting for the children.
Once you know what programs you would like to offer, prayerfully seek leaders for each of those programs. Remember, if your team is small, begin small with your programming to avoid volunteer burn out. Focus on quality rather than quantity.
Have all of your volunteers go through a background screening process. Have an initial training session with all volunteers to share ministry goals, expectations, policies and procedures, as well as basic teaching techniques.
Choose a curriculum that is going to meet the goals of your children’s ministry. You will need to consider quality, cost, and the skill level of your volunteers when making this decision. A great place to start would be the Walk with Jesus curriculum offered FREE on our website.
Set a target date to begin ministry and promote the ministry plans to parents and families within the congregation.
Purchase the Children’s Ministries Handbook, now for only $10! The CM Handbook is an excellent resource for any children’s minister or pastor. Chapters titles include:
For Pastors, Volunteers, Safety and Procedures, Programming, Space and Supplies, Partnering with Parents, Budgets, and Training.