How important do you think children’s ministry is?
A children’s ministry is generally viewed as a necessary part of the church’s ministry, but is it? Are the workers who volunteer in this area seen as a valuable part of the church mission?
Jon Rauch, a veteran children’s pastor, shares some thoughts on how a lead pastor and church leadership should view those adults who are taking on this vital role in the lives of the kids in their ministry and how all can work together to strengthen the church body as a whole.
1) Staff your children’s ministry well
Every senior pastor needs to be sure the best leaders and volunteers the church has are plugged into children’s ministries. A church will reap what they sow. If they have high-capacity people reach the next generation, their church will reap tremendous rewards!
Those children are the church’s future leaders. You are doing yourself and your church ministry a favor by growing those future leaders. Children’s workers should not be seen as the “leftover” volunteers, but as quality people, vital to the future of your church.
Having both men and women working with kids gives those children a full picture of God. While the women provide that caring, nurturing aspect, having men in the children’s ministry provides that fun, spunky warrior image. Both roles are equally important in providing welcoming and exciting places for children to attend.
Your visiting families are generally looking for quality children’s ministries. In fact, if parents know that the church’s ministry to children is strong and a good fit for their child, you will likely keep that family, even if other ministries are perceived as “weaker” or not to their personal preference.
2) Consider your children’s ministry when planning Sunday morning services
Each senior pastor needs to know how important children’s ministry is. The kids and volunteers need to be considered when planning and executing Sunday morning services.
When decisions are being made that affect the church, such as building make-up and use or service times and lengths, the children’s ministry should always have a voice at the table. Thinking of the children and even including their involvement in planning services and activities shows that this is a church that loves kids and considers their participation important.
At Grace Community in Goshen, Indiana, we bring our children into our main services. There they experience certain events such as baptisms that have elements that appeal to them and they can engage in. For example, at a recent Communion service, families made banners as a hands-on activity. We also had interactive Bible dramas that children could view.
3) Children’s ministry leaders are flexible to consider other ministries
Each senior pastor needs to know that the children’s ministry leaders realize their ministry isn’t the only one on Sunday’s mornings either. The children’s ministry needs to be flexible to consider the needs of all the Sunday morning adults ministries, too.
A good children’s ministry understands that it’s not all about them and their needs. They must share resources with other ministries with a broad perspective that they are a part of the church body as a whole. So when that senior pastor steps into the pulpit and is feeling a movement of God’s spirit and the service may go a bit longer, he should have the confidence that his children’s ministry workers will be understanding and flexible, allowing for that freedom of having God work!
What do you think? Leave your comment below.
Visit cenational.org/omi for more articles to help you in your ministry.
Jon Rauch is family discipleship pastor at Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana. Previous to his pastoral role on the church staff, Jon and his wife, Tara, served at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia. The Rauchs have four children–Ellie, Ethan, Elisha and Emory. Jon is a member of the CE National Board of Directors and serves as board president. If you want to talk Philadelphia sports, J. Rauch is your man.