As Children’s Ministry Leaders, you are probably being stretched by God on a regular basis. I’m the Children’s Ministry Director at a relatively small church. Although we’ve been growing in recent years, it wasn’t too long ago that God stretched us beyond what we thought we could handle.
We’ve always gone through seasons of fluctuating attendance in our children’s program, so that is nothing new. But imagine averaging 5 kids in children’s church (K-6th grade) and within a month’s time having over 30 kids attend. Four months later that number rose to an average of 50 kids. Sounds exciting! And it was an exciting time. But we soon found out that we were very unprepared.
I only had two teachers for children’s church that would rotate every other week. We would sometimes have the teenagers volunteer to be helpers. This was all we needed, until the day that a bus of children showed up at our door. What a change of dynamics we went through. Classroom management became a top priority, and I was scrambling to find a way to do things better. Each week I would assess how it went and what I could change to improve and meet the needs of our kids.
When the Numbers Don’t Add Up
I was desperately trying to get help. This should sound familiar to most children’s ministry leaders. More volunteers, more teachers. Sounds like it wouldn’t be too difficult, except for the fact that at the time we were only averaging 45 adults a week. In contrast our children’s program had now gotten to the point where it outnumbered the adult congregation. We averaged about 45 children a week in our children’s church, and another 12-15 kids a week in our preschool/nursery age group. This was a serious problem, but I didn’t want to turn them away, for they had already been turned away from other churches, bigger churches than ours. When the numbers don’t add up, you learn to lean on God.
Humbled by God’s Provision
I had prayed for years for more children to come, and more volunteers to get involved. But this felt like it was too much all at once. How could we manage. I needed at least three people a week in children’s church and another 3 people in the preschool/nursery. 45 adults in attendance each week and I needed 6 or 7 of those adults to agree to commit to our children every week.
Our church recognized it as an amazing blessing and people stepped up to volunteer. Out of the 45 regular attendees, about 25 of them were on one of our children’s church schedules as volunteers. The seats would be full during worship, but when our pastor dismissed the children, over half of the people would leave to go to children’s church. It was a humbling sight to see.
This part of our journey wasn’t easy by any means, but it was a blessing. I would tear up as I watched the church get involved. It was ALL hands on deck. I would tear up as I saw children come to know Jesus. That was a gift to us all. I would tear up as the kids would pray and share their life stories with us. It reminded me that God was creating a safe place for them in His arms, with His people. I would tear up because I could see God’s hand in it all and I was so thankful that he looked upon our small little congregation and trusted us with such a big task—-his children.
Have you experienced similar moments as children’s ministry leaders? Maybe you haven’t had enough volunteers, or have felt ill-equipped. One thing I’ve learned is that God has already equipped us for the task ahead of us, we just have to lean on Him and trust the process.
Training New Teachers, FAST!
High Voltage Kids was a great resource for curriculum that a smaller church like us could swing financially. It provided a great way to incorporate the message in a large group setting, yet kept it interesting to kids from all backgrounds and ages.
We also found that it helped me train new teachers. How you may ask? Well, the videos included, really helped teach the main points and broke up the session; so my newer more nervous teachers didn’t feel like 50 kids eyes were staring at them the entire class. And since the videos really reiterate the main teaching points, even if one of my teachers had a hard time communicating the message that week, the kids still walked away understanding the message from the scripture. If you are looking for similar help training new teachers and you want an easier platform for them to get started, this could be a great way to help them through the process. Check it out here: http://www.highvoltagekids.com
If training teachers isn’t an issue, I recommend our new children’s curriculum series, which is very interactive and delves into equipping the children in their Purpose, Prayer, Praise, Prophecy, and Power. Check it out here: https://kidsariseministries.com