Delanee Williams and Landry Holmes join the podcast to discuss how to stay connected with your church leaders while Covid is still around.
Leading leaders is a vital part of having an effective kids ministry. Chuck Peters — new to our Kids Ministry team, but with years of leadership experience — offers three excellent tips for doing it well.
— Jeffrey Reed, Director of Kids Ministry for Lifeway
Many of us kids ministry leaders think of ourselves as leaders of children, but there’s a whole other group of people looking to you for leadership: your teachers and volunteers. In order for them to minister effectively in your kids ministry, they need to be coached, encouraged and directed. Not just as part of a one-time recruitment effort, but in an ongoing manner that refuels their empty tanks and reengages their spirits. Leading your leaders doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective, but it does require intentionality.
Here are three tips for leading your leaders that can help you “up” your efforts.
Tip #1 – Step Up
Great leaders lead by example. The best way to train up great team members is to clearly communicate your expectations and to deliberately demonstrate the actions you would like your leaders to emulate. This means you can’t hide in the corner. Leading leaders means stepping up and standing out. It’s up to you to set the standard for your teachers in their friendly interactions with parents, their intentional connection with kids, their prayerful preparation for teaching time and in their passion for service in the church. Remember, your leaders will do as you do.
Tip #2 – Huddle Up
On of the best ways to build and maintain enthusiasm within your team is to gather them together every week 15-20 minutes before your first batch of kids arrives for a pre-service pep talk. Use this time to look all your leaders in the eye and remind them of the high calling and importance of kids’ ministry. Encourage them to lay aside distractions as they focus on the children and the lesson of the day, and thank them for partnering with you to communicate Christ to kids. Pray together in your huddle, then put your hands in the middle and give a “go team” shout. You’ll be amazed at how these few minutes of scheduled team time can deepen the commitment of your volunteers and transform the atmosphere of your ministry.
Tip #3 – Follow Up
Make a habit of connecting with each of your teachers a day or two after the busyness of your service time wears down. Ask how things went and to listen to their feedback about their part of your program. You can do this in person, over the phone or via email, the method is up to you. The important thing is that you make a regular practice of actively soliciting feedback from your team and listening to their thoughts and ideas. Good leaders speak. Great leaders listen.
These are just three of my favorite tips for leading leaders. You may have many more! If you have tips and ideas to add, please leave a comment on this post and join the discussion! We can all serve better when we connect together in community and share what works well.
Chuck Peters is Manager of Marketing & Media Production for Lifeway Kids. A graduate of Columbia Bible College, Chuck, and his wife, Cris, have served vocationally & voluntarily in Student and Children’s Ministry for many years. They have four amazing children ranging in age from 5-15.
We can never thank our teachers and leaders enough. The time and work they give has eternal significance; each week they are impacting the lives of kids and parents. You can show gratitiude and appreciation to your teachers in the weeks ahead…and put a little spring spin on it.
Give a gift. At this time of year, you can find packets of seeds everywhere. Purchase packets of wildflower seeds (or whatever kind of seeds you want to give). Attach a small note that reads Thank you for sowing the seed of God’s Word in the lives of kids.
You could also give them small decorated flowerpots, bedding plants, or other spring-related items. A small gift can express appreciation in a big way.
Send a note. Give kids in your ministry blank notecards to decorate. Kids could stamp, paint, or draw springtime scenes (or use pastel springtime colors in their designs). You could plan a time for kids to do this at church or send the notecards home for kids to decorate and bring back to you. Then use the kid-decorated cards to write appreciation notes to teachers. Mail the notes as a fun surprise.
Handwritten thank-yous can make a big impact. And the teachers will love the kid art, too.
Have a party. Plan a simple fun gathering for teachers. Ask teachers to bring a simple, springtime food to share. Or ask parents or other ministry leaders to prepare some simple foods. Plan some fun springtime activities–make kites, blow bubbles, dig in the dirt. (See Windy Play for ideas.) Teachers like to have fun just like kids do.
Don’t plan a formal program. Just make it fun. Tell teachers how much you value what they do. Getting together can be a fun way to say thanks.
What are some ways you’ve expressed appreciation to teachers? How have you celebrated springtime with your teachers?