We all know that January is a time for “New Year’s Resolutions!” However, many of us have a history of just making a list, but, never developing a plan for implementation. So, my challenge to KidMin leaders this year is to consider adopting this plan (you may need to adjust it a little to meet your own needs) for affirming your leaders throughout 2016:
- JANUARY – Consider writing a “handwritten” note to each of your leaders. Include in each note one observation about that leader’s greatest strength.
- FEBRUARY – Invite parents to help you prepare a “we love you and appreciate you” table in your kids ministry area on the Sunday closest to Valentine’s Day. This could be a quick-bite breakfast for your leaders. Encourage your parents to write notes of appreciation to their kids’ leaders.
- MARCH – Plan a “We love our teachers “MARCH” on a given Sunday morning. Gather children on a Sunday morning…one classroom at a time or several classes combined…and give them “We love our teachers!” signs. Lead them on a fun march through the hallways of the kids area. Be sure to enlist adults to march with you for security reasons.
- APRIL – Give each teacher a copy of the “Gospel: God’s Plan for Me.” These are available at www.lifeway.com. Include a note challenging your leaders to “always be ready” to share the gospel with parents and kids as appropriate.
- MAY – Prepare for your leaders a note sharing “Mr. Jerry (obviously insert your name instead) gives you permission to give yourself a hug of appreciation. Because the work you do with kids is so valuable, you MAY do a “happy dance” celebrating that God has chosen you to let Him love on kids through you!”
- JUNE – Give each of your leaders an individual bag of un-popped pop corn. Attach a note saying “As you pop this popcorn, with each sound of a pop thank God for one of the kids in your class who has blessed you!”
- JULY – Send an email to each of your leaders including words of affirmation. Communicate with each that you have prayed for them by name, thanking God for their service.
- AUGUST – In celebration of the new teaching year, give each of your leaders a gift card to a local coffee shop or fast food restaurant. Attach a note saying, “You deserve a break today for all the work you’ve done in preparing for the new teaching year!”
- SEPTEMBER – Try to telephone each leader with just a quick, “I was thinking about you and just wanted to say on behalf of the kids you teach ‘You’re amazing!’”
- OCTOBER – Purchase the mini-size rolls of multi-flavored candy rings. Give one pack to each of your leaders with a note saying “God made rainbows in order to make a promise. With this gift I make a “promise” to you that I will be praying for you regularly!”
- NOVEMBER – In line with the season of Thanksgiving, plan a progressive dinner for your leaders. At each “eating location” give each leader a card with one of these words: at the first home – “I”; at the second home “give”; at the third home – “thanks”; at the fourth home – “for”; and at the last home – “YOU!” The five course dinner could be: appetizers, salad, soup, main dish, dessert.
- DECEMBER – Make a Christmas “goodie” for each of your leaders. These “goodies” could be something as simple as cookies or cupcakes. Attach a note thanking your leaders for helping kids remember that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season!”
If you don’t feel like you can do all of these acts of affirmation…simply do one per quarter. Words and acts of affirmation go a long way!
Jerry Vogel serves as a Childhood Ministry Specialist in LifeWay Church Resources. He is married to Janie and has four children and thirteen grand kids. Jerry is a member of Brentwood Baptist Church and teaches preschoolers there. He is committed to enriching the lives of those who teach kids as well as making eternal investments in the lives of children.