Bill Emeott and Klista Storts chat about how to best train your kids ministry volunteers. This episode is hosted by Bill Emeott, produced by Micheal Walley, and sponsored by the ETCH Family Ministry Conference.
I knew God called me to ministry. I knew He had placed a burden in my heart specifically for kids ministry, and I realized that He had gifted me with talents that would help me in the role I’d just been chosen to fill. But the truth was, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’d had formal education for which I’m thankful, but I needed quick answers to the everyday questions, issues, and ministry struggles that I now faced and for which I didn’t feel equipped.
I was immediately enrolled in the school of hard knocks and began seeking and reading and studying other ministries I thought could give me direction. I was blessed with ministry leaders in my community who had pity on me, perhaps saw potential, and jumped in to give direction and serve as mentors and friends. I will forever be grateful to Margaret Rogers, Susie Webb, Clara Mae Van Brink, Kim Harris, and Bill Young. The first year wasn’t easy. But with my calling secure, my support system in place, and the Holy Spirit empowering me, I made it through.
I’ve often wished there had been a resource that would have quickly answered my questions. I needed a one-stop resource that I could reference and trust. It is in the hopes of offering that resource to others that What About Kids Ministry? was created.
I couldn’t have been the only minister who needed help and answers, and I’m pretty sure there are still many today who are experiencing the same feelings of inadequacy and need for direction and assurance. So, I sat with ministry colleagues here at LifeWay and began to seek practical answers to questions relevant to today’s KidMin leaders.
I am thankful for the answer compiled in this book by ministry experts with vast and varied backgrounds. I’m thankful for their ministry to children and their families. I’m most thankful to God who loves kids, families, and those of us who are trying hard to honor Him as we minister. To God be the glory! Great things He has done and will do through each of you.
Our prayer is that What About Kids Ministry? will help to anchor your ministry, equip you in Kingdom work, empower you to lead kids to spiritual transformation, and encourage you to disciple boys and girls to become culture shapers in our world today.
Bill Emeott serves as Lead Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Kids. He is a graduate of Mercer University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Bill has served in Kids Ministry for almost 30 years and currently teaches 3rd Grade Bible study at his home church in Nashville, TN.
The genuine heartbeat and ultimate motivation behind the LifeWay Kids team is to equip the church for more effective ministry to kids and families. One of the most obvious ways we seek to accomplish this is by writing and publishing teaching resources for leading kids in Bible study and discipleship. We know that what churches teach matters—a lot—so we are committed to using Bible college and seminary trained writers and editors to write, edit, and review every resource we provide. We are fully committed to providing doctrinally-sound materials that communicate content you can trust. From this value, we will never waiver. You can take confidence knowing that everything we publish has gone through a stringent approval process. We know that what we teach matters. That’s what makes LifeWay LifeWay. We also know that providing teaching resources is only one aspect of equipping the church. In order to be good teachers and leaders, people need training, inspiration, and encouragement. That’s why we have created Kidsministry101.com.
Kidsministry101.com is your destination for training and equipping resources from the LifeWay Kids team. There you will find our blog, podcast, gospel presentation videos, training links, and a place to subscribe to the free Kids Ministry 101 quarterly print magazine. Our goal is to provide you with articles, interviews, and resources that inform, instruct, and inspire you as you teach God’s Word to kids, recruit and lead volunteers, manage the administrative side of your ministry, and connect with families. The content here is based on the best practices and practical experience that the LifeWay Kids team has amassed over decades of service in ministry. As we share ideas and insights with you, you can share some, or all, of the posts and resources with your team members, leaders, and even the parents of kids in your church.
Kidsministry101.com is your one-stop destination for a wide array of free ministry equipping resources to help you do what you do well. You can visit the URL directly by entering kidsministry101.com in the browser of your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, where you can subscribe to have new blog and podcast episodes pushed to you, or you can “Like” LifeWay Kids on Facebook to receive new blog posts and podcast episodes in your facebook feed.
Chuck Peters is Director of Operations for LifeWay Kids. A graduate of Columbia Bible College, Chuck has served vocationally & voluntarily in Student and Children’s Ministry for many years.
Jana Magruder, Director of LifeWay Kids, joins us on the podcast this week to unpack the research in her new book, “Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith.” Her book unveils a study that looks at the faith characteristics of current adults and looks at the parenting practices and habits they were exposed to growing up. As kids ministry leaders and as parents, how can we settle for “nothing less” than what truly matters?
Jana Magruder, Director of LifeWay Kids, joins us on the podcast this week to unpack the research in her new book, “Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith.” Her book unveils a study that looks at faith characteristics of current adults and looks at the parenting practices and habits they were exposed to growing up. As kids ministry leaders and parents, how can we settle for “nothing less” than what truly matters?
(1) Show them why—help these young volunteers and even young professionals catch the vision for why you believe kids ministry is important. Show them your passion for kids and the gospel and help them find a place where they can contribute to something larger than themselves. Sometimes your millennial volunteers will be kids who are a product of this very church’s ministry, but others will be transplanted from other churches or even new to their faith. Make sure each one knows how they are doing Kingdom work that matters.
(2) Train—don’t assume that because a volunteer is energetic, that he knows how to interact with kids in age-appropriate ways. Also, don’t assume that just because a volunteer is super-quiet that she doesn’t have what it takes to teach a lesson with kids. Train your new leaders and continue to guide and course-correct as necessary with seasoned leaders. This will add tools to the ministry toolbox of these millennial volunteers that they can use for a lifetime of ministry.
(3) Affirm and encourage—You know that kids ministry is sometimes hard and that some lessons just go completely off the rails, despite the preparation and enthusiasm of the leader. Make sure your millennial volunteers know how valuable they are to you, and how much they mean in the lives of the kids. Many times the simplest word of encouragement from a seasoned leader or mentor will make a huge difference with young leader.
The impact of kids ministry leaders is humbling when you consider the number of kids and families you influence, but with the volunteers, you train for service, the impact is truly unlimited. Don’t miss the opportunity to help shape the future of kids ministry in your community by ignoring the millennial volunteers that you have in your church.
In my ministry with CentriKid Camps, I hire hundreds of these millennials as summer camp staffers and they are phenomenal workers who truly pour themselves out through service to kids and church leaders at camp. If you have college students who serve well with you in your ministry and you know they love the Lord, love kids, and want to work hard at camp … then please send potential staffers to connect with us at www.centrikid.com/become-a-staffer
Contact our CentriKid Camps office anytime with questions or other ideas about serving with millennials and leading them in your kid’s ministry setting. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Echols leads the CentriKid Camps team and manages the LifeWay Kids events. He, his wife Emily, and their precious daughter love their church, their neighborhood, and spending time together. Jeremy loves to read, watch sports, and grill burgers.
It’s that time of year where we’re all searching for and enlisting new teachers for our ongoing Bible study classes. Below are some “basics” that might be helpful to share with new teachers. These tips can help any new teacher present like a seasoned pro!
- Plan and Prepare. The best session is a prepared session. Regardless of the curriculum you use it will need to be prepared. Developing the habit of planning early can remove the Saturday night (or Sunday morning) stress of weekly teaching prep.
- Start early in the week and do a little each day.
- Look over the biblical content early in the week to allow God the opportunity to use your comings and goings to reinforce the Bible truths in your life.
- Review the session plan for resources you might need to gather and secure those things while you’re out during the week.
- Arrive Early. A good rule of thumb is to be in place 15 minutes before the scheduled time to begin. Arriving early allows time to catch your breath, prepare the room, and have a smile on your face when the kids arrive. It’s true that the first person in the room wins. Make sure that person is you.
- Start Teaching When the First Child Enters the Room. Don’t waste a minute! Be prepared and be ready for the first child and begin teaching. Some curriculums provide for early arrival activities. Use them! If yours doesn’t, consider Bible skill games and activities as an option for early arrivers (or while waiting for parental pick up at the end of the session). Don’t have kids wait idly for “the rest of the group.” Prepare activities that can begin with one child and add others as they arrive. If kids sit still too long they’ll come up with something to do on their own and it’s not likely to be something that teaches biblical truths and skills.
- Build Relationships. It’s an old adage but it’s very true, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” The best way to make sure that kids and their families know that you care is by building relationships with them individually. Determine a strategy for getting to know the kids and their families. Understand some general characteristics of the age group you’re teaching, trends that influence your kids, and personal likes and dislikes of individual kids. Learn about their families, schools, sports, and hobbies then use that information to build relationships. Don’t forget relationships with parents. This doesn’t just happen on Sunday morning. Take the time to speak to parents and find opportunities to equip them with helps to be the spiritual leaders in their kid’s lives.
- Provide and Safe and Secure Environment. Make yourself familiar with your church’s policies and procedures and be intentional about adhering to them. Always have two adults in the room whenever minor children (anyone under the age of 18) are present. Go out of your way to protect the kids, protect yourself, protect your church, and protect the Kingdom.
Teachers often don’t live up to our expectations because they don’t know what we expect. Share, train, equip, and resource your new (and seasoned) teachers!
Bill Emeott serves as Lead Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Kids. A graduate of Mercer University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Bill has served as a Kid’s Minister and currently teaches 2nd Grade Bible study.
Today’s episode features Dr. Shane and Jennifer Garrison as they discuss the struggle Christian parents face with “The Talk.” Dr. Shane Garrison is now serving as VP for Enrollment & Associate Professor at Campbellsville University, and his wife Dr. Jennifer Garrison, is also an assistant professor of education ministry at Campbellsville University. On this episode, hear what parents wish their church’s kids & student leaders were doing to give them help they desperately need.
This is the second episode in a series of four podcasts designed to help churches choose and use curriculum. Jeff Land, team leader of Bible Studies for Life Kids joins our hosts, Jana Magruder and Chuck Peters. They discuss how teachers can help boys and girls study the Bible and apply biblical concepts to their life in an age appropriate way. In addition, hear new updates and resources for Bible Studies for Life Kids beginning in Fall 2016.
Choosing and using curriculum is one of the biggest and most important decisions a church will make. Landry Holmes who leads the kids publishing teams at LifeWay visits with our hosts, Jana Magruder and Chuck Peters about choosing and using curriculum. Listen as they discuss what curriculum is, why it’s important, and essential factors to look for in curriculum for your children’s ministry. This episode is the first in a series of four podcasts designed to help churches choose and use curriculum that best meets the needs of their church.