Kids ministry leaders, I know what you did last summer. You hosted some variation of VBS, you took kids to camp, and hopefully you got some down time and relaxed. Most likely you saw as many kids come through your ministry area in the summer months as you do the whole rest of the year.
At some point in the last 3 months you probably:
- Got really excited about the planning of something big and crazy
- Decorated the ENTIRE church property for VBS
- Learned tons of kids names
- Kept up with lunch money in plastic baggies with those names on it
- Learned about the families, pets, interests, and fears of those kids
- Shared a Bible story you weren’t as familiar with as you thought
- Ate fast-food “chicken” nuggets with a group of 25 kids
- Made crafts with kids using KidMin ingenuity and random household items
- Celebrated making those crafts, even if they didn’t look like the example in the book
- Rode in a vehicle for 2 hours to get to camp
- Got messy doing something wild like OMC at CentriKid
- Took up a dozen fidget spinners because they were distractions
- Played with one of those fidget spinners that you took up
- Started reading a book at the beach/mountains/pool and promptly fell asleep
This list is just the beginning, but I hope it serves as a reminder and a challenge to keep pouring into the lives of kids. Because of all those things, you’ve got a great launching pad to use these three aspects of your summer to make your ministry even better this fall … relationships, reflection, and rest.
- Use the relationships you built at camp to connect with kids and their families. You have an opportunity to engage the parents because of the relationship you built with the child at camp.
- Help kids reflect on the visual aids and tangible lessons from VBS and continue to revisit those lessons as you talk about the importance of the gospel. VBS uses all the senses to teach biblical lessons. I know that if a teacher mentions anything about the stars, my daughter will start singing “Galactic Starveyors” and reflect on the One who made all the stars in the universe.
- Carve out time to rest and relax within your normal routine. Don’t wait until next summer vacation to have a few minutes to yourself. Personal health is important to your success in ministry as you are constantly pouring yourself into the lives of others.
Good luck this fall, your summer already has you off to a good start!
Jeremy Echols leads the CentriKid Camps team and manages the LifeWay Kids events. He and his wife Emily have a daughter Madison and they love their church, their neighborhood, and spending time together. Jeremy loves to read, watch sports, and grill burgers.