Let me tell you...I have done some incredibly dumb things in Children's Ministry. In fact, I could probably write a book about it!...Hey, that's not a bad idea but I digress. The whole point is, if you are not a PERFECT Kidmin leader, know that you are not alone. We are all in this together and leadership isn't a destiny, it's a journey. It's through failure and learning from those failures that mediocre leaders become great ones! Show me a leader who has never experienced an epic fail, and I'll show you a filthy liar because WE ALL MESS UP from time to time.
Many moons ago, I was of the thought that I could be a great Kidmin leader because I was nice, enthusiastic, and loved children. Boy was I wrong! Since then, I have learned that dynamic leadership, something I know we all want to reflect, wasn't about who I was as a person, but rather my ability to equip others to be the best that they could be. So, what's one of the dumbest things that I've done in Children's Ministry?... I didn't train my team!
I had allowed the busyness of ministry to get in the way of setting those foundational elements that are vital for any THRIVING Children's Ministry Department. I struggled to delegate certain tasks off because I thought to myself, "I don't want to burden anyone with this and I can just do it myself,"...DUMB! I didn't schedule out my days wisely and constantly just focused on what was pending...SUPER DUMB! And I was a Yes man or rather wo-man to things that sucked up my time that had nothing to do with my job at hand... EPIC DUMB! And when the dust of all the busyness settled, what was left was an underdeveloped team that was barely surviving. Praise God, since then I have learned from my lack of training transgressions.
Training is key for ANY thriving Children's Ministry Department. Setting monthly/quarterly trainings to equip, inspire, and uplift your volunteer team is crucial if you want to cross the threshold from surviving to thriving! And I know we all get busy which is why it is vital that training is intentionally built into what you do as a ministry. When you sweep training and equipping under the rug, eventually when you lift that rug up, you're gonna find one big unequipped mess!
Maybe you can relate? Maybe you're new at this whole training your volunteer team thing. Maybe your church has never done this? Remember it takes time to shift a culture and it may take time to get people on board but don't quit! If this is you, Here's a few ideas to help you get started.
Struggling to get people to come out to meetings? Don't take it personal! The whole point is to get the information in. Try monthly conference calls or trainings through Zoom that will allow your team to come together from the comfort of their own homes and other locations.
Send short snippet training videos to your team through email. They don't have to be long. 3 minutes tops. Give them fun ideas on how to creatively use their curriculum or maybe tips on how to deal with unruly children. The skies the limit and you know what your team needs.
Take advantage of Social Media! Say it with me...Social Media is my friend! Post training videos and other encouraging messages on your Children's Ministry Like page to your team. Don't be shy! Your team needs you!
Consider taking your Leadership Team on a retreat, (not just for planning) but to truly bond and connect. Get to know your team! It's totally worth it!
So don't make the same mistake I once did! Invest in the foundation of your Children's Ministry. Treat it at it's roots and watch it grow into a thriving Children's Ministry! And Remember...TRAIN YOUR TEAM!!!