Let me share with you my journey — and what I’ve learned — regarding tech tools for kids ministry.
When I began my career in children’s ministry, “ministry management” boiled down to a bulletin board and pushpins. I would type up monthly schedules and post them on a corkboard in the children’s resource room at church. I had to talk to every volunteer and parent on Sunday morning to verbally remind parents of any upcoming events. I made phone calls every Saturday night to remind volunteers of their Sunday responsibilities, and the good ol’ copy machine was the most overworked machine in the building.
Today, I’m a Family Ministry Pastor at a mid-size rural church in Kentucky. I threw out the corkboard years ago and entered the new tech era. Here are the four children’s ministry areas that I feel most benefit from the use of technology.
The average church [attendee] may not realize the amount of work that goes into running a Children’s ministry. Children’s Pastors only work on Sundays and Wednesdays, right? Wrong. We organize curricula for multiple classes, recruit and train volunteers for each class, manage systems put in place for safety and functionality, pastor families in the church through births, deaths, and divorces, as well as plan events that inspire community within our church family.
Thankfully, organizing ministry has been simplified with services like Planning Center. On our children’s leadership team, we use Planning Center for creating our weekly volunteer schedules for ten different areas of children’s ministry each Sunday. This software provides intercommunication between each of the areas of ministry within the church so that we do not triple book a volunteer on any given Sunday.
Planning Center offers an option to post lesson plans for each class so that all of your weekly information can be found in one location. Planning Center also accommodates group registration for events, as well as a tracking system to keep up with each individual child’s birthday and family information.
While Planning Center is where I handle my weekly volunteer schedules I still need to communicate with parents, teens, and other staff members about each upcoming event. Remind and FlockNote [provides] connections with everyone who needs to know about weekly events and announcements — even if they are not participating in that event.
Social media blasts are vital to advertise church events, but it seems that no one outlet is efficient at reaching everyone in the church. Every family, each person, has his or her own favorite social media hangout. I poll the parents of my church regularly to see which social media sites they are using most frequently. I have found that it takes multiple media to communicate one message. It’s always useful to check the settings feature in a social media app to see how you can automatically post to other services (for example from Facebook to Instagram). We need to use them all, but we don’t have to manually post to each one!
THERE’S MORE! CHECK OUT PAGE TWO