OK, maybe these aren’t really secrets. Actually, they should be very obvious. But too many churches don’t seem to know these “secrets”, or they just don’t put them in to practice.
My experience and observations tell me that, if your ministry knows and practices these 6 “secrets,” then your ministry will probably be pretty successful.
6 Secrets For Successful Children’s Ministry
Secret #1: Staff, key leaders and volunteers are people committed to having a deep personal relationship with Christ.
Our ministry should always flow from our relationship with Christ. If we do not have a deep and abiding relationship, then all that’s done is done in our own power. We can make this look “successful” for a time, but spiritually speaking it will always be lacking.
Secret #2: There is a commitment to praying for the ministry.
“Prayer does not equip us for greater works—prayer is the greater work.”
Those who have a deep relationship with Christ will know that, in their own strength they can do nothing. This forces us to our knees, and our ministries will be brought to the throne because of this.
Secret #3: There is a clear and compelling vision articulated for the ministry.
As the Children’s Pastor/Director, you may have a great idea of where you want your ministry to go. But if it’s not articulated, repeated and pursued, then you probably won’t see your ideas realized. For more on this, see this post: What Should Our Vision Be For Children’s & Family Ministry?
Secret #4: The environment within the ministry is inviting.
Some keys to making sure your environment is inviting is to make sure that it is:
See this post for a little more on each of these: 5 Imperatives For Every Children’s Ministry Program. And check out this post for other ways to make your ministry inviting: 10 Ways To Make Your Children’s Ministry More Inviting.
Secret #5: The ministry is Gospel-centered.
If your ministry doesn’t ultimately lead children to an understanding of the Gospel for their salvation, and an understanding of how the Gospel transforms them on a day by day basis, then what’s the big deal?
Here’s a post about the Gospel in our Children’s Ministries: Are We Telling Our Kids To Go To Hell?. Additionally, do a search for “Gospel” on my friend Sam Luce’s blog: SamLuce.com. He’s written a lot about the Gospel as it relates to our ministries.
Secret #6: Parents are intentionally and consistently connected to the ministry.
Something I’ve said for over 20 years is this:
“Children’s Ministry is Family Ministry and Family Ministry is Children’s Ministry.”
It’s that simple. We are here as ministry leaders to support and equip those who are primarily responsible for the spiritual formation of children—their parents. Yes, there are circumstances where parents are not engaged, but we must have an intentional strategy for connecting what we do in the church with what parents do in the home. And that takes more than sending a “take home” paper out with the kids.