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5 Imperatives For Every Children’s Ministry Program

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:

  1. Child-centered. This means it needs to be safe, attractive & age-appropriate in every aspect and area of the program.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

These are a few things I’ve measured every program against – what would you add?

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Greg Baird is a Children’s Ministry veteran with over 20 years ministry experience. Greg has had the privilege of serving in four San Diego area churches, including under the leadership of both John Maxwell and David Jeremiah. He continues to fulfill his life calling through the ministry of ChildrensMinistryLeader.com, offering an experienced voice in equipping and connecting Children’s Ministry leaders around the country and around the world.