Think Simple and Invite
By Joni Lum, Children's Ministry Consultant
For those who are launching or relaunching kids ministry, you might find that you’re seeing many kids return (YAY!) and not so many leaders return (OH NO!!!). In the last few months since I’d regathered with in-person kids services, I have almost the regular number of kids and only half of the volunteer leaders that I had pre-pandemic. It is clear that I’m in a time of rebuilding and that my regular leaders, for many good reasons, are not returning. This pandemic has given me the opportunity to rethink what I do and why I do it.
What is critical in a kid’s life to help them become authentic followers of Jesus?
-Kids need a personal relationship with Jesus. We have to consistently share that each person makes a personal choice to start this relationship and ask/offer to share how.
-Kids need modeling and coaching to grow their relationship with Jesus. We can’t expect kids to “do” at home what they have never done at church, any more than we would expect them to learn to cook without being shown how to. Kids learn by seeing and doing, modeling and coaching. This could look as simple as asking kids to read their Bible and setting aside time for them to talk to God while they’re in our programs. Intentional discipleship might look different now than we would have done before.
-Kids need friends. Barna Research shows that 85% of parents worry about the effects of the pandemic on their kids, in particular, their kid’s relationships with other kids and other caring adults. They have not had the opportunity to see and be with their friends. How are we providing relationship-building time for our kids?
-Kids need to study the Bible, worship God, serve, and go and share their faith. How are we creating space for these essentials?
-Kids need fun! The stress of the pandemic is acutely felt by our kids. How are we creating space for them to have fun with each other?
Barna Research shows that 85% of Christian parents are concerned about the spiritual growth of their kids. With this level of concern, this is the time to ask! Cast a vision and invite parents to invest in the kids in your church. If research is accurate, we will have many parents who want to invest in their kid’s spiritual growth.
This is the time to reconsider what you do and why you do it.
Make your ministry simple and easy for parents to understand so that they can plug in and serve.
Here are some adjustments that I’ve made:
We now offer two hours of Sunday Kid’s Worship with a large group (40 mins) and small group time (20 mins). This requires fewer leaders. We vary the activities and keep the same message, so kids can attend both hours without the exact same program. Prior to the pandemic, we would have met on Sunday with one hour of Life Groups and one hour of worship.
Our Kids Life Groups have moved to our midweek program. This gives us the opportunity to do more family activities, including a Mission Fair, Family Baptism, Family Lord’s Supper, Family Service Projects, Family Outreach. Our regular nights will run from 6:30-7:45, a short but sweet time to gather with friends in their same grades.
Although these changes were driven by a lack of volunteers, I think they are actually shifts that could grow our kid's ministry. I’m hopeful that more parents will plugin since kids midweek will not be at the same time as their programs. I’m also hopeful that we will see more parents serving and doing spiritual things with their kids, a key step in parents being the main disciples of their children. We’ll have more on that next month.
I’m always available to chat! Reach out and let’s connect!
Reserve the Date:
KIDMIN Event Strategy Workshop
August 28 9am-10:30am
Learn to use events strategically and the art of the invite back. Discover how to build a repeat customer base through Eventbrite that will have people returning to your church! Reserve your spot by emailing Joni@ocsba.org