5 Habits That Kill Kids’ Ministries

kid toys freeI think its fair to say that every kids’ ministry needs more staff. And I don’t mean the creepy kind with no teeth and a criminal background. We need kid’s workers who love Jesus and who love kids, (even the screaming toddlers). And, I believe that God will provide all the laborers we need. The ministry and the mission is his!

But with that being said, we can still do things that undermine our kids ministry. Below are five deadly habits that regularly keep people serving and some tips for overcoming them.

  1. Poor Organization:

Nothing scares committed volunteers away faster than chaos. And we can’t blame people for avoiding a human zoo. No one would board a cruise ship whose final destination was the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. And no one is going to work with our kids if they think someone may die before the night is over.

Quick FIx:

Get organised. If we want people to work with our kids, we must empower them by creating schedules, using great curriculums, and enforcing discipline. We, the children’s leaders, must have a practical vision for our ministry that others can respond to.  Now vision will not  win everyone over on its own. But you can’t succeed without it.

  1. Lack of Vision:

Many adults think kids’ ministry exists as a holding cell for whinny, noisy, stinky kids. Many don’t serve because they don’t think kids’ ministry is a ministry. They view the kids’ wing as a swanky, religious nursery that frees adults to worship without anyone asking to go to the bathroom.

Quick Fix:kid anger free

Share our vision with our church through discussions, sermons, and training events. We need to help others see that kids’ ministries exist to strategically equip parents (and the entire church body) to declare the glory of God to the next generation! Sunday school, Wednesday night activities, and those wacky events happen because churches want to see everyone worshiping Christ together! Kids’ ministry is not just nursery, its intentional, hands-on mission and discipleship work! We need to get the word out! 

  1. A Selfish Mindset:

Those who’ve fallen into this category believe “Church is me time.” They don’t serve because God only called them to attend church. Because their life is crazy and/or hard, they think God has freed them from serving others, especially kids. Even if they have kids, this group knows that God called them to only attend Bible studies and concerts. 

Quick Fix:

First, We need to invite people to serve. Second, we explain the danger of not actively serving in church. Admittedly those who make Sunday their “adult time” or their “time away from the kids,” will have an easier day. But their day will also be far less biblical. We are called to put the needs of others before our own. (I.E. the church is not about you or me). We read in Philippians 2:2-4:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

“Yes,” some will say, “but you have no idea what my kids are like or what I have to put up with on a regular basis.” A We don’t. And we need to be considerate of others struggles. But, we need to help all see that service is not based on feelings. We serve because the God of the universe put our needs before his own comfort. We want to be like him! Help others see that our earthly comfort is not more important than a child’s salvation and find a reasonable place for them to serve. 

  1. A Quitter’s Mentality:

These adults say things like, “I did my time and my kids are grown.” In short, they’ve tapped out and have done their time.

Quick Fix:

We need to encourage people to refresh and to follow God’s call on their life. Many people exit kids’ ministry for great reasons. We should support God’s work in their life!

But we should pursue those who leave the kids’ program to retire from ministry all together. We need to remind quitters that God doesn’t put a time limit or a quota on serving the next generation. God’s missional call to reach kids involves all of his church. Ands, kids need older adults to teach them. The energy of young singles and new marrieds cannot compare to the wisdom possessed by older believers. If we want to see our kids greatly influenced for Christ, we need to expose them to the Godliest men and women in our church. And not surprisingly, most kids actually want to hang with wiser men and women!

  1. Lack of Communication:

There are people in our churches who are sitting out because they’ve never been asked to help. These adults never interacted our kids’ zone because they are single or empty nesters. They are open to serving. But they’ve never connected with a kids’ ministry worker or leader. They may have heard that their kids’ ministry needs help, but they don’t know where to begin.

Quick Fix

The solution is for somebody to directly ask them. As kid’s ministry people, we need to make an effort to interact with the whole body, inviting health believers from all walks of life to be part of our kids’ ministry.

Now its your turn! What struggles does your kids’ ministry face when it comes time to recruit?

Summer of Service

Summer of ServiceAs a kid, I always look forward to stuffing the school books away and beginning my wonderful summer vacation dedicated to swimming pools and baseball! As an adult, I still too look forward to relaxing during the summer. Rest is good! But we can’t afford to take a vacation from our spiritual life.  If we leave off fellowshipping with our brothers and sisters, praying, and studying the Bible, our souls and are families will be left vulnerable to all kinds of sins. Instead of using summer as a time for self-indulgence which leaves our souls empty, let’s redeem our summers. Let’s take in some sun at the ocean; and, let’s also be active worshipers of Jesus. Let’s commit to maintaining our personal spiritual walks. Let’s volunteer to teach a kids’ Sunday school class, help with VBS, attend the youth Summer Bible study, sing in the choir, and/or serve our neighbors.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. –Gal. 6:7

Embracing The Rejection of Kids’ Ministry

Lady blog picAlthough kid’s ministry is essential to every church, almost every church (including mine) struggles at times to staff their kids’ zone. During my 14 plus years of kids’ ministry, I’ve been charged with recruiting nursery workers, Sunday school teachers, and special event staff for many a year. Every time, I pick up the phone, I feel like I’m about to start a Job interview. “Will they hire me?” Um, yeah..well thanks… but, no. As I’ve told many people, I think kid’s ministry is in part a ministry of rejection. Thankfully, I had a lot of practice getting rejected while single.

Thankfully, I am  currently married to the best gal ever! But if all those other girls hadn’t said, “No;” I very well may have missed out on marrying my bride. Although experiencing rejection was not highlight of my college career, God ended those relationships to direct to me to their most wonderful girl ever! In much, the same way having people tell us, “No I don’t want to serve in kids ministry” can be a good thing. (It can also be a bad thing, but we will look at that later). We should give people the space to refuse our recruitment calls for the following three reasons.

  1. Allowing people to say, “No” keeps people from being forced into ministry. Our service should be freely given. If we serve to make the pastor happy or to avoid the negative looks of others, we are actually being selfish. We will get no reward from our heavenly father (Mathew 6:1).
  1. Allowing people to say, “No” helps to guard our ministry. That really awesome Christian on the other end of the line may have some secret sin that disqualifies her from serving. By allowing her the right of refusal, we protect the integrity of our ministry. We also may gain the chance to help a friend by asking some good follow up questions.
  1. Allowing people to say “No” promotes the health of the church. We want people to fulfill God’s call on their life. Our thoughts are not God’s. We could see a couple being a great fit in the nursery but God may be calling them to help with senior adult ministry. We should be excited to see people serving in every capacity. Allowing someone to say no may actually grow your church

Ultimately, all ministry is God’s ministry. He will provide the laborers. We need to diligently share our vision, recruit, and prepare adults for kids’ ministry. But, we do so through prayer.  And as we humbly depend on God, we can rejoice even in the No’s. We know that God is working all things for our good and the good of his church! We want the team he has called working with our kids.