The “to-do” list for the beginning of a ministry year seems endless. Enlist teachers. Train volunteers. Pass out new curriculum. Organize children into their new classes, and on, and on. However, a few years ago as I was serving on a local church staff, I felt we needed to provide an opportunity to pray together as a ministry for the upcoming ministry year. In addition, the teachers of our various preschool ministries needed time to fellowship together. Why would we want to add one more task to the “to-do” list? We wanted to communicate the importance of prayer and fellowshipping with other adults. As we visited with teachers about their plans about returning to teach for the next year, many shared they were missing adult fellowship. As a result, an event called “Pray and Meet” began.
In planning, we were intentional with the purpose of the event. We wanted to provide a specific time teachers and other church members could come to the church and pray for the upcoming year. We encouraged the teachers to pray together. Preschool parents and other church members were invited to come pray with and over the teachers. Also, a goal was to provide a time of fellowship for the teachers to build connections with other adults who were serving in the ministry.
We selected an evening prior to “Promotion Sunday.” We sent invitations to all volunteers in our ministry, letting them know of a come-and-go time of prayer and fellowship. We put together a pamphlet including prayer prompts/requests from each of our preschool ministries. Outside each classroom door, we listed the names of the teachers for each ministry. This allowed people to pray specifically for each teacher by name. We also provided ice cream and cookies for a time of fellowship together.
It was encouraging to see how God used “Pray and Meet.” We saw new friendships among teachers form and other friendships grow. Teachers were encouraged as others came and prayed for them. Families came and prayed for the new year with their child’s teacher. Our leadership was able to build connections with teachers and other preschool families.
As you plan your ministry calendar, intentionally plan for a time of prayer and fellowship. How can you provide an opportunity for teachers to pray together and connect with one another and other families?
Delanee Williams serves as a Ministry Specialist with Lifeway Kids. She is a graduate of Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Delanee has served in kids ministry for over twenty years and is passionate about developing, equipping and encouraging leaders.