Wednesday, November 3, 2010

3 Signs #1- The Volunteer Team

The first sign of a "Healthy Kid's Ministry" is the Commitment that is made to the Volunteer Leadership team. From time to time I am asked by others in Children's Ministry how I know whether or not what we are teaching or communicating is really sinking in. That is tough to gage with kids. With a teenager, you can usually get a good idea about the status of their spiritual life (sometimes simply by checking the status of their Facebook page). You can see Junior High and High School students going on Missions trips or attending retreats and special events (because they want to, not because their parents have signed them up).
With children's ministry, I can usually evaluate the rate at which our kids are grasping what we are teaching by the enthusiasm of the volunteers who are leading their classes. I have never had a volunteer come running out of a classroom on Sunday morning after service saying, "I am so excited, I had five kids who wouldn't sit still or pay attention." In fact, the opposite is usually the case. They will come to me and let me know how awesome it is that they get to serve, and that today in their class they had 5 kids invite Jesus into their heart.
I try to evaluate my leadership team on a pretty regular basis. If they are excited to come to class each week, it usually means that they are enjoying what they have the opportunity to do. Happy teachers are almost always better teachers, and better teachers equal kids who are learning in a fun and exciting environment.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

3 Signs of a Healthy Children's Ministry

I have been asked occasionally what it is that makes a "healthy" children's ministry. I think that isn't exactly an easy question to answer because it is something that is relative to the setting you are in. For instance, some would say that a healthy children's ministry is a growing children's ministry, but I would argue that is not always the case in a community that is in decline. There are however three things that I have consistently been able to see in children's ministries that I would describe as healthy: a commitment to the volunteer leadership team, an emphasis on discipleship and a focus on missions.
Each of these attributes are fairly simple, but extremely vital to the health of the kid's ministry. Over the next few days I plan to unpack each of these statements and explain why they are so important.