Home Children's Ministry Leaders Children's Ministry How To's 10 Things That'll Ruin A Children's Ministry

10 Things That'll Ruin A Children's Ministry

6. Lack of volunteer training 

You know volunteers who have outstanding gifts and a real aptitude for children’s ministry. But even “natural-born” workers benefit from training and encouragement. Plan training events, provide written resources for individual study and send your volunteers to children’s ministry conferences.

Develop regular or ongoing leadership-training so volunteers can update their skills.

7. Competing with media for children’s attention

There’s a temptation in our media-saturated world to spend lots of money on state-of-the-art equipment and technology. You may want to leave your children amazed and dazzled with mind-boggling programming and events.

Don’t give in to the temptation. Art Murphy ministers in the shadows of the world’s best high-tech theme parks in Orlando. But he doesn’t advocate eye-popping programming. He says the best programs are simply “noisy gongs and clanging cymbals” unless they communicate love. Art challenges his children’s volunteers to make Bible study and other programs real instead of “Disney-like.”

Your kids remember special effects only until they see a better effect. They’ll remember truth shared in love for a lifetime. Helping children apply and understand one biblical principle is better than knocking their socks off with technological brilliance.

Strive for genuineness and transparency in leading events and Bible studies. Embody Jesus’ message of love by lovingly teaching children.

8. Isolating children’s ministry from the church

Children’s ministry can become a “satellite” ministry, spinning on its own axis and following its own orbit. If this happens, your program may not embrace your church’s goals and philosophy. And it’ll suffer from a lack of intergenerational contact with church members. Meanwhile, your kids will miss out on Christ’s larger purpose for the church in the world.

Write a purpose for children’s ministry and describe how it relates to the total church.

9. Ingratitude

Everyone wants to feel needed and valued. You do. And so do the people who help make your ministry possible. We’ll go the second mile for someone who appreciates us.

Review the past month of your personal calendar for names of people who’ve assisted, encouraged or served in your children’s ministry. Write simple, heart-felt thank-you notes. You’ll reap what you sow.

10. Neglect

The most dangerous threat to any ministry is “neglect.” If you don’t weed out problem areas, your ministry will wither away. Fight neglect in ministry by constantly evaluating your children’s ministry. Rejoice in your successes and learn from your mistakes to keep neglect at bay.

Slip this list into the first page of your personal calendar. Each month, weed out any threats to your ministry’s success.  

Walter Norvell is a children’s minister in Tennessee.
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