How to Plan Your Kidmin Year

 
I divide my plan of action into four areas of focus. Everything I plan has to come under one of these four:
 
1. Spiritual Development and Program
2. Student Care and Follow Up (why should Jesus give you more kids if you can’t take care of the ones you already have?)
3. Student Leadership Development. (The best way I know how to disciple is train children and students to be leaders.)
4. Adult Leadership Development
 
Everything I do or plan has to fit here. How much we do in each area has to do with where we are as a ministry. You have to identify what the needs of your ministry are in each of these areas. At different times you’ll be at different places in each of these areas.
 
To get the process started I go by my churches annual cycle. If your church doesn’t have an annual cycle this is something you should sit down and develop as a team here’s how our cycle runs. We start with New Year’s series at the first of the year and plan to get our community talking about what’s happening at our church. Next is Super Bowl. It’s become a national holiday so we use it to rally leverage. The next event on the calendar is Valentines and we talk about Love. After that comes Spring Break; I use this time for outreach and build community and do service.
 
A biggie with us is Easter. We do a community service at a local college and relocate our church.  I use several special guests in almost every age group. Next is Graduation/year end stuff. Then comes Worker Recruitment and Worker Appreciation, and then comes Summer. We use the summer to prepare for the fall administratively we also do a VBS alternative plus Camps special Activities and Service projects. Our next big season is the fall with our Promotion Weekend and the Beginning of school. Football is huge here in the south. Then comes Halloween and Christmas. At Christmas we do a big Children’s Choir program plus some special guest events. We also do a big Gift Wrap Outreach to our city. After we come up with our plans around these events using the four areas of focus, I sit down with my key leaders and deconflict the plan with other departments within our Next Generation Ministries. What are you looking for?
 
I watch for too many activities that hit families out of the same pay periods. I also watch for too many people raising funds at the same time. It’s the same pond, and you can’t drain it dry. I also look for ways to piggy-back on what others are doing to maximize the emphasis within the community and the congregation. I think it’s also important to look at you plans in the light of your family. It’s amazing to me when a family church allows for family time I wish more did!
 
I use the early fall to price my plan. What activities are funded? What activities and programs will the church be reimbursed? What’s raised? What will be given away? Remember our scripture above: count the cost! This is where you submit your plan and the price of your plan to the budget folks to get it approved. What if we can’t afford this plan? This is why I do this in early fall, so I have time to go back to the drawing board and make the necessary cuts for the big picture. I start by adjusting my goals or what I want to achieve that year. Once the goals are adjusted so is the plan. This action is what adjusts the costs of the plan.
 
Now I have goals. I have a plan to meet the goals and I’ve been assigned the necessary budget to make that plan reality all before Christmas. Now it’s time to enjoy the holidays and finishing the old plan and budget strong. How you end one thing sets the stage for how you’ll start the next one. 
 
Once the new year begins work your plan and add feet to it. Just because you have your plan and your budget doesn’t mean you are on easy street. It is your job to use your faith and trust God for his blessings and provision for your plan. As you go through your church cycle and walk out your plan, make sure you evaluate and make adjustments. Call a time out to make adjustments—have a halftime. If your plan is not working or if the funds are not there due to circumstances beyond your control, make the necessary adjustment and be the leader God has called you to be. Don’t develop a us-vs.-them attitude. Realize God is in control what’s best for the entire organization is also what’s best for your department as well as for you as an individual. Before you know it, it will be time to repeat the process!  
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Jim Wideman is an internationally recognized voice in children’s and family ministry. He is a much sought after speaker, teacher, author, personal leadership coach, and ministry consultant who has over 30 years experience in helping churches thrive. Jim created the Children’s Ministers Leadership Club in 1995 that is known today as "theClub" which has touched thousands of ministry leaders each month. Jim believes his marching orders are to spend the rest of his life taking what he has learn about leadership and ministry and pour it into the next generation of children’s, youth, and family ministry leaders.