Building Strong Teams in Children's Ministry
Having a strong team behind you is essential if you want a successful Children’s Ministry. There are so many churches out there, where the weight of an entire Children’s Ministry rest on the shoulders of one or two individuals. But this is a dangerous practice that has the unintended consequence of stifling the effectiveness of the ministry and burning out the already short list of leaders. If you have found yourself in the unenviable position of being the “lone Kidmin ranger,” then one of the most important assignments you can do is to cultivate a team to support you. As many churches as I’ve had the opportunity to visit that have developed strong teams, there are still so many who have not. There’s no doubt about it. A strong team not only helps carry the load but is essential in the development of any thriving Children’s Ministry department .
Maybe you ran into this blog post and you’re a new leader. If you’re starting at a volunteer count of “0”, or very few committed people around you, then building a team can seem like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. Maybe Covid-19 wiped out half your volunteer base. What I have found is that if you view Children’s Ministry as the “least of all” ministries, then so will those around you. We must first be convinced that this is an investment well worth making, then you will begin to attract a team of others that follow suit.
There is a ton of scholarship around the sustainable volunteer cultures, but I believe it all begins and ends with the leader. Remember there’s a difference between team members and workers. If you appear to be desperate and stressed, then your ministry may be unintentionally scaring away potential quality volunteers thus limiting your chances of identifying valuable team members. On the contrary, if you present a compelling vision for the future of the ministry, exude excellence via your preparation every Sunday, and are intentional in sharing this vision with others, then you will soon find that others will take notice and want to join your team.
I know it can be daunting at times but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And in spite of the complaints I’ve heard from struggling Kidmin leaders, you are not the only one in your church who cares about children. A great mentor and friend of mine always says, “Someone is assigned to help you.” And it’s true. We see this principle at work countless times throughout the scriptures. Moses had the judges; David had Jonathan; and Paul had Barnabas. You are no exception. There are designated people that God has called to help you to develop a successful Children’s Ministry so take heart. Life will happen, pandemics will come, and people will leave, but God never will. Trust him. You’ve got this because God’s got you!
If you are in a building/rebuilding phase when it comes to your team, check out the tips below to help you get started.
REALLY care about people and invest in them. Make it a policy to never work with strangers but to work with friends. Truly get to know the people who serve around you. Rejoice with them when they are rejoicing and mourn with them when they are mourning. TRUST ME! It works. Some of those whom you have showed genuine care for will become some of your most trusted allies.
Don’t limit your gatherings with your team to planning meetings only. Invest in leadership development. Shake it up and bring someone from the outside to train your team. Choose annual conferences to attend together. Put on a retreat and create a safe space that promotes vulnerability and bonding between your team members. The whole point is to motivate your team in fresh and new ways.
Don’t fall into the woe is me trap! Know that not every invitation to serve will be met with equal success. But don’t be discouraged or grow weary in your efforts to amass an enduring Kidmin team if some of your invitations are met with rejection. Get over yourself. We must always remember that it’s ultimately God’s ministry. He desires to see it flourish. That means you must leave the outcome to Him. Your job is to walk in faith and go get the people that God has already laid before you.”
For more in-depth tips on how to create a thriving Children’s Ministry department moving forward, get your copy of my new book, Children’s Ministry Wake Up Call, Today at www.childsheart83.com/books