Do you go to a kids’ camp?
For most churches, that is part of the annual rhythm because it creates awesome relationship building opportunities between leaders and students and students and other students.
This year for the kid’s camp we attend, we wanted to be even more intentional than normal in giving our kids an awesome experience.
So I asked a mentor, Dick Gruber, who has chaperoned, led and been a guest speaker at many kids camps over decades what advice he would give me and other kids’ leaders who tend to go into camps and retreats with such high hopes and end up settling with just trying to survive.
After we implemented his tips at camp, we realized that they were also relevant to every Sunday.
So here are seven tips to help your leaders be more effective at interacting with kids on Sundays:
1. Greet the kids with a smile and energy from the moment you see them.
This begins from the moment they walk in and see you, not just when they come into your Small Group. The tone you set at the beginning will carry throughout the day.
2. Surprise your kids.
Maybe you bring candy one Sunday and give it out at the end of Small Groups. Or you hand write a card for each kid. Do something to let them know you truly care about them.
3. Pray about everything first thing.
The kids are deciding what activity to do, pray. One of the kids falls and gets a scrape, pray. The girls won’t stop talking, pray.
4. Pay attention to your kids during services.
Dick has seen kids literally get in fist fights while he was sharing a message and the kids’ chaperone, sitting right beside them, didn’t even notice.
I’ve personally witnessed similar occurrences in kid’s church. It’s OK to enjoy the service with the kids, just keep an eye out.
5. Pay special attention to instructions for the altar/response time.
Inevitably, some of the kids won’t be paying attention and you’ll have to clue them in.
6. What leaders do in moderation, kids will do in excess.
If you worship authentically, kids will worship even more authentically. If you complain about something, they’ll complain even more. If you do a small prank to be the “cool” volunteer, the kids will escalate it.
7. Be a student of the kids you’re responsible for.
Observe your kids every week to see how they engaged, what questions they asked, how God used them. Write down what you observe.
Then once a month, share what you wrote with the kids, and give what you wrote to parents at check-in or checkout.
This lets the kids know that you’re always present and looking for ways to encourage them and also clues parents into how God has wired their kids spiritually.
What tips would you add?
This article originally appeared here.