A couple of years into my ministry career I was asked What are the things that you are intentional about incorporating into every program you lead? I didn’t really have an answer but I thought it was a good question. So I sat down soon after that I wrote out these 5 imperatives for every program we offered (everything…Sunday, midweek, special events… everything – because I don’t want any time with kids wasted & turned into babysitting). I’ve been using them as a measuring tool ever since:
- Child-centered. This means it needs to be safe, attractive & age-appropriate in every aspect and area of the program.
- Application-Oriented. We must teach something that the kids can take home and apply to their lives in a practical way. I like to use what I call the “This Week” Principle, meaning I want some application taught that is relevant, practical and usable “this week” for each child.
- Relational. Everything we do needs to be built on the foundation of strong, positive adult/child relationships. After all, as you’ve read on this blog many times: ministry happens best through relationships.
- Creative. Our program must be dynamic & intriguing to children, incorporating many different avenues of communication. Since I’m not the most creative person in the world (ok, I’m probably a 3 on a scale of 1-10!) I lean heavily on others to help with this.
- Fun. Our program needs to be a place a child wants to come to. The real test of this is if our program is a place the child would be excited to bring their friends. If kids aren’t having fun, I can pretty much guarantee they’re not getting whatever it is you’re trying to communicate.