With all the recent focus on health care reform it’s caused me to wonder what would good health care looks like. I really don’t know… so, I quickly moved to something I do have some knowledge of, Kids Ministry. What does a healthy Kids Ministry look like and how do I know whether or not I have a healthy ministry?
Balance is the key! A healthy Kids Ministry strives to meet the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of kids. Achieving balance in all these areas can be an overwhelming task.
Take time to evaluate. Take the time with key leadership and evaluate your ministry. Be honest. If that’s a struggle, ask for a second opinion. Invite a friend who is not a part of the ministry to walk with you through some of the following questions:
Are we meeting the needs of kids?
- Are the spiritual needs being met? Is your church helping to lay and develop the spiritual maturity of children? That happens through Bible study, discipleship, music, missions… really any time a child comes to church. The experiences a child has while at church helps to develop their concepts and beliefs about God and is laying the foundation for conversion and their becoming a growing disciple.
- Are the physical needs being met? When a child attends any Kids Ministry programming at your church are his physical needs being considered? Do the furnishings fit his body? Has consideration been given to the restroom facilities? Is the temperature in the children’s space comfortable for active learning? Have teachers been equipped to recognize a child’s need to move and most often will learn more when their body is in motion? Are rooms clean, attractive, well lit and free from hazards and clutter?
- Are mental needs being met? Four year olds and fourth graders learn differently. Has consideration been given for grouping children according to ages and stages of development? Are leaders aware of the interests of today’s child and encourage those interests through Bible study? Are efforts made to include kids with special needs?
- Are emotional needs being met? Does a child feel welcome at your church? Do teachers call each child by name? Are kids taught to be kid and loving to each other? Do teachers know the needs of the families of those they teach?
- Are social needs being met? Kids are social creations. They have the need to interact. Perhaps more now than ever before, kids are hungry for peer interaction and social opportunities. Are teachers aware of the interests of the kids they teach?
I think this is a good place to start. There are other things we’ll need to evaluate, but if we begin with the child, the total child… meeting her needs… we’ll be on the road to a healthy Kids Ministry!
Bottom Line: A healthy Kids Ministry is centered around the needs of the child.
Thank you to Jan Marler and Janet Williams for contributing to this post. For more information on this and other kids ministry questions check out Kids Ministry 101: Practical Answers to Questions About Kids Ministry