This page contains tips on the following subjects. If you would like help with something that is not listed here, please contact me!

New to Children's Ministry?
Feeling Discouraged
The ABC's of Children's Ministry
Top Ten Children's Ministry Questions
Recruiting Volunteers
Special Needs Ministry
Connecting With Parents
Family Ministry
UMC Grants

New to Children's Ministry?
If you are new to Children's Ministry...welcome! You are about to have a lasting impact on the spiritual lives of children. That is such a wonderful privilege. Believe that God has called you to this role and be assured that He equips those He calls.
  1. Pray...preferably with a prayer partner, someone you trust, for guidance.
  2. Review your job description so that you know fully what is expected of you. (If you do not have a job description, meet with the pastor/children's committee to create one: set goals & expectations.) If you are serving in the UMC, visit  UMC Ministry With Children.
  3. Ask to meet regularly with the pastor or a spiritual mentor, so that you can keep on track with those expectations/get advice or help.
  4. Spend time getting to know the children and families in your congregation. Establish a relationship with them.
  5. Connect with others in your field. Get to know other Children's Ministry leaders nearby you. Find out what they are doing. Maybe you can meet to pray together or offer joint ministry activities.Connect with the wider community online. We are stronger together!
  6. Plan to attend a Children's Ministry Workshop or Conference at least once a year with your will help you to stay connected and to keep abreast of current trends. See the 'Events' page of this blog for upcoming events.

Feeling Discouraged
Your position as a Children's Ministry leader carries a heavy weight of responsibility. It is normal & natural for you to sometimes question your effectiveness. Take time for yourself in the following ways:
  1. Don't neglect your own prayer & worship time. You cannot feed children if you are not feeding yourself.
  2. Find a prayer partner that you can confide in...preferably someone fun to be with who will encourage you!
  3. Take 5 minutes for yourself, right now, to listen to this will remind you why you do what you do.
The ABC's of Children's Ministry
These Workshop Notes include ideas for Ten Community Ministry events & focus on: 
Assess your Space: Be the Place; Count on Grace.

Top Ten Children's Ministry Questions
10 Questions to help you on the road to effective Children's Ministry.

Recruiting Volunteers
Every effective Children's Ministry relies to a large extent on volunteers. Here are the 'do's:
  1. Do pray for guidance first.
  2. Do approach that person face to face & ask them to pray about it too.
  3. Do ask them well ahead of time, so that they don't feel pressured.
  4. Do accept & respect their decision.
  5. If they decline, do leave the door open for them to join your team at a later date.
  6. If they accept, do carry out the necessary safety/background checks in accordance with the policy of your church. UMC leaders, click here.
  7. Do make them welcome in as many ways as you can. (Send them a thank you card; Introduce them warmly to your team; recognize them in the church service: include their name & new position in the church bulletin; keep them well informed about meetings, procedures, expectations.)
  8. Do ensure that all necessary training is given- beginning by teaming them up with a seasoned teacher is a good idea.
  9. Do find every way you can to affirm their efforts & encourage them at every opportunity.
  10. Do pray for their ministry.
Here's the don't's:
  1. Don't appeal for volunteers in the church have no control over who will respond.
  2. Don't appear to be 'desperate' for's not a good advertisement for your ministry.
  3. Don't recruit anyone who has not been a regular attendee at your church for a minimum of 6 months. (Child abusers will probably not stay around for long if they cannot quickly find a way in to your ministry.)
  4. Don't try to recruit volunteers one week before your VBS!
  5. Don't neglect them!
  6. Don't think you don't need any volunteers! Besides widening your potential ministry base, the opportunity to volunteer on your team might be the first step of God calling them into ministry too!
For more help, see this article from Group & this one from Ministry to Children.

Special Needs Ministry
It goes without saying that our churches and Sunday schools need to be inclusive! if you do not have a plan for welcoming and nurturing children with special needs, it's a good idea to get one in place now! Don't wait until their family comes through your doors & you realize you are not equipped! Be proactive! Begin by looking at this quick assessment of a child's needs, which includes a form for parents to complete, so that you will be better able to assist their child.
The following links also contain a wealth of information and help on a wide variety of special needs and how our churches and Sunday schools can be prepared and equipped for all God's children.
Children's Ministry Magazine- Leadership Help: Special Needs

Adapting Lessons For Special Needs Children; Ministry to Children Site

Connecting With Parents
Connecting with parents is VITAL for effective Children's Ministry! Here's what has worked for me:

  1. Invite interested parents to accompany their child in Sunday school. This has 3 benefits. They get to see how awesome your program is! They connect with you! They may feel called to volunteer alongside you.
  2. Not all parents will want to do this! Ensure that you have a program in place that caters for them while their child is in Sunday school. Form a small group, perhaps led by some young parents themselves, where parents can bond & learn from each other. It will give them a reason to come & bring their children! Often, this kind of group can become a support/fellowship group that may meet outside of church...which is exactly what you want.
  3. Get to know the parents really well. Establish a relationship with them. Let them know how wonderful their children are, how much they are learning & how much you enjoy having them in Sunday school or midweek program.
  4. Keep in touch with parents by using this monthly newsletter. Published by Group, this printable or electronic parent-link includes Biblical content, games, ideas & scripture for parents to share with their children. It also includes space for you to add your own calendar & news. Cost is just $6.67 per month.
  5. Consider getting your parents involved in a project building an outdoor playground on the church grounds for kids. This has 4 great benefits: it brings parents together for a common purpose; it will often draw spouses in who otherwise have not been involved in the life of the church; it will be a great advertisment for your church in the communty; it will be great fun for the kids!
Family Ministry
The more we can minister to families, not just their children, the more effective our ministry will be. Begin by taking a look at this link.
For a wealth of information, help & resources, check the following:
Family Ministry

Ministry to Children Links

For a whole host of great articles on discipline, click here.

UMC Grants
If you serve within the West Michigan Conference of the UMC, grants of up to $500 may be awarded. Note that these grants are funded through the monies collected on Christian Education please encourage your church to take up an annual offering!
Application Form

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