A few years ago, we took a poll of children’s ministers to find out how churches handle “big church.” Do they send the kids in to worship with the adults, or do they have a separate children’s church just for the kids? Of the 2,032 people who responded, 48 percent said kids definitely belong in the corporate worship setting—”big church”—and the other 52 percent said kids belong in a separate children’s church setting.
While both sides have their advantages, today I want to focus on children’s church. Here are 5 things you can avoid to have a successful children’s church ministry:
1. Don’t mimic the “Big Church” setting. “[An] advantage of children’s church [is] providing worship services that involve children and draw them into worship,” says Debbie Rowley of Calvary Church. “God blessed children with extra energy and the desire to move; they have unique needs and characteristics that make them uncomfortable and even bored in an adult worship service. Children’s worship services can provide a useful outlet for that energy, actually harnessing it to enhance children’s worship experiences.”
2. Don’t be boring. Plan your time wisely. Remember that kids’ attention spans are short. Break up your time with different activities to get kids moving and exploring Bible truth in different ways. Remember to be R.E.A.L. Kids learn best in a variety of ways, and children’s church is the best format for experiencing it all!
3. Don’t use the same songs. Choose age-appropriate worship and praise music for your audience. A mix of fun and meaningful songs with motions and easy words will keep kids coming back.
4. Don’t use time-wasters. Every activity you do with kids in children’s church needs to have a reason behind it. No coloring pages just to bide your time until the parents come. Instead connect everything back to the point for the day.
5. Don’t underestimate kids. Give kids responsibilities that utilize their gifts and talents. Help kids start up a greeting group for new visitors, or how about a children’s choir. Even ask kids for their opinions on what they would like to see in their children’s church. Their answers might surprise you!
While we’re on the subject of children’s church, I want to show you Hands-On Worship, the children’s church curriculum where kids encounter God. With Hands-On Worship Kids Church, kids’ lives will be transformed through amazing worship, unforgettable Bible adventures, and powerful prayer experiences. It’s brand new for Fall 2014. Click here for more information.
You don’t do children’s church? You keep your kids in “big church” with their parents? If so, we have some tips for you as well! Click here for thoughts on keeping kids engaged while in Big Church.
Do you do children’s church? If so, what do you do to make it successful? Let us know using the comment section below!