Have you looked around your church and realized that there just aren’t as many kids around as there used to be? Have you had conversations with leadership lamenting the fact that you need to get new families, young families, kids and youth through your doors?
But, it just isn’t happening. Kids are busy with sports, families are busy traveling, people just don’t want to come to church in this day and age, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I call bologna.
There are many children in the communities we serve.
Do you want to know the real reason why children’s ministry has floundered for decades and has faded in importance at churches?
Adults in the church can be squeaky wheels that require attention. A lot of attention. The UMW needs space to hold a meeting, the planning committee needs to meet again and wants your input, you need to present an idea to the Trustees first, then the Ad Council in order to get approval to get more approval to get something planned for children. Meetings with adults from the church fills your calendar.
There are squabbles over money. There isn’t money in the account to do children’s ministry – we need to cut it back. However, we can spend money on the adult Sunday school class, new curtains, new roof, new parking lot, new signs, lawn service…you get the drift. There aren’t that many children or youth on Sunday anyway…
When adults who are supposed to plan children’s ministry activities get waylaid by budgets, turned down by Ad Council, moved by Trustees, fill in to write a newsletter, promote the church on social media, vetoed by Finance, called in for a meeting and another meeting…what gets pushed to the side? The kids.
The children aren’t yelling to hold a VBS week, there aren’t demands that they need space and have priority over another group, they aren’t worried about funds in the budget, they don’t argue over when Sunday school should start or how long it should last…they just need attention when they can get it.
Bless the children’s ministry leader who can prevail and still focus on the kids through all of that. If you are the kidmin leader and need suggestions for ways to keep yourself focused on your intent, here are a few of ideas:
1 – Write out a mission statement. “My mission is to further enhance children’s spiritual foundations” or “My job is to focus on children and youth in this church and provide for their needs”.
2 – Don’t feel bad for saying no. If you are asked to attend a meeting that isn’t relevant to children’s ministry, don’t attend. If you are questioned or criticized for it, refer back to #1 and repeat your mission to those who also need to hear it.
3 – Immerse yourself with kidmin “stuff”. There are lots of free resources online from color sheets to ideas for projects and events on Pinterest to themed snacks to make during a Bible lesson. Keep looking what are kidmin leaders do so you can be inspired and find new ideas.
4 – Stick with other kidmin leaders. Watch the free webinars online. If you can afford it, attend training sessions or conferences that focus on children’s ministry.
5 – Read. There are a plethora of books that deal with children’s ministry topics. If you want to start a new focus such as special needs, children of blended families, autism, Military kids, etc., there is a book to help you.
And most importantly, call me. I can consult or console you on children’s ministry issues you are facing. I can help you plan or work through an issue you are facing. If you don’t have time during the day to call, email is always an option. My email is email@example.com and my cell is 989-395-2710.
The battle might be challenging at times, but you are doing good deeds in the name of Jesus. The children DO need your guidance and your planning and your attention even if they aren’t the most vocal with their needs.