Heidi Hensley joins the podcast to discuss how Covid has awoken a creative side of the church and we would be foolish to let that die.
Enlistment can be a four letter word – H.A.R.D. It’s kind of like that bunny that just keeps going and going and going and going. It’s one of those projects that never gets finished. In fact, truth be known, it’s probably the top reason that kid ministers leave the ministry.
Sadly, I remember a time when I couldn’t even share the joy of one of my teachers who excitedly told me she was expecting. All I could think was that in about nine months, I was going need to find a new teacher! Now, that’s bad.
So what do you do? Here are a few suggestions that might help.
Hmmm. See a pattern? While there are tons of different ways to bring the need to light through bulletin inserts, pleas from the pulpit, bulletin boards, flyers in the bathroom, etc., that’s just advertising. (Shout out to Kim Harris for that statement!) THE number one way to get the teachers you need is to ask personally. Otherwise, people assume that they’re not capable, not called, or not needed. They’re waiting for you to ask! Invite them to join your exciting team of leaders that get to impact a child’s life forever! Let them know that you don’t accept just anybody. You’re asking them for a reason! You know they love kids; they’d be a great example; they’re energetic; they’re ___________! (You fill in the blank!) Be picky and make sure they know it. Make them feel blessed just knowing you believe they’re worthy to teach!
And, you don’t have to do it all yourself. Put together a team and break the task into smaller chunks. The whole pyramid idea works in this case. You ask two people, then they ask two people and so on and so on and so on. A great part of sharing the blessing of enlistment is that you have a larger pool of people to ask!
Remember to think outside the box:
- Senior adults (missing their grandchildren!)
- Empty nesters
- College students
- VBS leaders
- And, outside your circle of friends!
So, pray about it. Ask God specifically for the people you need. Go and find those people — take them to coffee, maybe even lunch! Then…ASK!
One of the many privileges of serving at Lifeway is the opportunity we are given to attend chapel. Some are okay and others really stand out. Today was one of those “stand out” days because today we were honored to hear Dr. Henry Blackaby. Dr. Blackably, his wife, and son, Richard, were with us in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Bible Study Dr. Blackaby wrote, “Experiencing God.”
First of all, I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since “Experiencing God” first came out. Secondly, I can’t think of another resource (other than the Bible itself) that has influenced my life more. I’m sure it had much to do with where I was in my spiritual journey when I first did the Bible study (I’ve been through it three times total)… I’m sure the impact had much to do with who led me through the Bible Study the first time (thanks, Billy Godwin)… I’m sure it’s got a lot to do with all that was going on during that time of my life… but “Experiencing God” made a huge difference in my life and ministry.
Today, Dr. Blackaby shared some of the ways God has used the Bible study. He shared stories about soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan who have used the study to help them get through some very difficult days; he shared about prisoners in Angola prison who on death row found salvation as a result of “Experiencing God;” he even shared that former President George W Bush used the resource as a daily devotion during his presidency. It really is quite amazing how God has used “Experiencing God” to make a huge difference in so many lives.
Dr. Blackaby challenged us by reminding us that no one really knew twenty years ago what God was up to; no one had a clue that the resource, “Experiencing God,” would make such a huge impact on so many lives. He encouraged us to view our work with an expectant spirit. Expecting God to use the things created in this place to change the world!
So, my challenge to you is the same. We have no clue what God has planned for the boys and girls in our Kids Ministry. Which child is the next Henry Blackaby? Which child will pen the next “Experiencing God?” Which child will grow up to be president of the United States? Which child will change the world? Which one will lead their generation to a closer experience with God? We just don’t know… but I guarantee you this… some child will and I want to make sure that I do my part on this side to help prepare them for the role God is preparing for them!
Bottom Line: Every big thing starts as a little something! Be diligent with the “little somethings” God has entrusted in your ministry! God is preparing them for what He is preparing for them! You get to be a part of His preparation! Be encouraged!
As I travel across the country talking Kids Ministry, the one thing that occurs to me most is that a lot of folks are out there doing Kids Ministry and just hoping it all comes together.
It’s been said that if you don’t know what you stand for, you’ll fall for anything. I’m seeing folks falling for just about anything. Sad.
I’m concerned that many Kids Ministers today don’t really know why they do what they do… and because of that they fall for whatever is cute, whatever is trendy, and whatever the church in the next town is doing. I’m convinced that every kids ministry needs philosophy… a starting point… a point of reference… a baseline from which to make ministry decisions.
Here are a couple things I think you should make sure you consider when developing your philosophy for Kids Ministry.
- Decide what you’re trying to achieve. Are you the church child care provider? Are you the social director for the kids in your church? Or do you feel called to lay spiritual foundations in the lives of the boys and girls that will hold strong for their lifetime? I think you’ll achieve whatever you decide to achieve. You just need to decide.
- Develop an intentional plan. Do you just fly by the seat of your pants or is there and intentional plan? What about the Christian education and development of boys and girls in your ministry? What about the development of your leadership? What about the support and training of parents? If you don’t know where you’re going, you probably won’t ever get anywhere! Develop a plan and work the plan.
- Choose tools that under gird your philosophy. Once you’ve developed your philosophy choose curriculum, camps, training, and other resources that under gird your philosophy. For example: If your kids ministry philosophy encourages strong relationships between teachers and kids and the tools you choose encourage large groups with no teacher/child interaction… you’re not living your philosophy.
There’s a lot to be said about cutting edge, latest and greatest, and new and improved… My challenge to you is to make sure you’re achieving the Kingdom results you’re aiming for. Otherwise, you’re just spinning your wheels.
Bottom Line: Effective Kids Ministry begins with a strong ministry philosophy.
Each ministry philosophy will be unique to the church, the situation, and the personalities involved… that’s okay… just take the time to care enough to have a philosophy!