Kids and Ministry : Task #1: Embracing ‘team’comment (0)
January 8, 2009
By Brittany N. Howerton
When children’s ministers find themselves in a bind, it’s time to bring in the team — children’s ministry team that is.
“Most of the time in a church you see the fun people, people committed to following God with their whole heart.
Those are the people you want in your kids’ ministry,” said Beth Havard, children’s ministry director at Cottage Hill Baptist Church, Mobile, in Mobile Baptist Association.
She warned, however, not to forsake the wisdom of older leaders because a healthy children’s ministry will involve leaders of all ages.
“In talking with preschool and children’s ministers from around the state, some of the major difficulties they have are having enough volunteer help,” said James Blakeney, an associate in the office of Sunday School for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. “[My advice to them is] keep at it. [Volunteers] are there, we just have to ask them.
Baptists don’t volunteer.”
Havard agreed that the restrictions of volunteer help continue to persist. She said as help is gathered, continuous encouragement is a non-negotiable.
“Volunteer recruitment is always a challenge in any ministry. The thing for me is ministering to your leaders,”
Havard explained, adding the importance of not assuming leaders are fine just because they expressed excitement about the job. She said it is important to maintain consistent contact with volunteers to make sure things are going smoothly.
Vicki Hulsey, children’s ministry specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, noted five key ways to encourage volunteers:
- Equip by providing resources — training, curriculum and supplies.
- Express encouragement and appreciation through cards, small gifts and appreciation banquets.
- Embrace teamwork — the more ownership your team has, the longer they are likely to serve.
- Encourage leaders in their own spiritual growth. Children’s leaders must teach out of the overflow of what God is teaching them through their own personal prayer and Bible study.
- Expect great things (Eph. 3:20).
Havard said it is important to encourage volunteers because most are not available to attend an adult class. She added that a children’s ministry can be most effective when people are placed according to their gifts and talents.
“[It is important to] get the right people in the right place and that is by listening to people and knowing your volunteer staff. If you have two people that are very strong willed they would have to be put in places where they might complement each other and not work against.”
When placing volunteers in ministry, talk to them and find out where their heart is to serve. Find out what area or group they are interested in working with, Havard said.
“Let them observe and see and work with different age groups,” she said. “Once they do that, then interview them, talk (with them) to see where God is leading them. It’s not just about where you need somebody. Regardless of where your need is, put them where they belong not just where you need them.”
“I love going to Sunday School because I love learning more about
“Children’s ministries ... are a great springboard for a future life of serving Christ. They bring new life into the church, and they foster friendships that impact for a lifetime.”
“(My favorite part about Kid’s Chapel is) watching the videos from SteppUp Ministries.”
“I feel like the children’s ministry is so important for my children because they are growing and learning together with other children their age in an age-appropriate environment.”
“In Celebration City (children’s ministry program), I like to see puppet
“Children’s ministry is of vital importance because it serves to reinforce the scriptural truths that we are teaching in the home. It offers opportunities for our children to learn how to worship.”
“(I love) singing the songs.”