In the world of college basketball, an end-of-the-season NCAA tournament creates “March Madness” among fans each spring. Sixty-eight teams are split into brackets and play until they are each eliminated until it is down to the Final Four. (Please note: I really only know this information because (1) I Googled it and (2) one year, my beloved MSU Bulldogs went to the tournament!)
For kids ministry leaders, March represents its own madness as we begin planning for huge summer and fall events.
I recently put out a call on my Facebook page for kids ministry leaders to let me know what their major events were for the year. The answers weren’t surprising:
- Summer Camp
- Fall Festival
- Easter Eggstravaganza
Imagine the four events above in your own “ministry brackets.” Which event would end up being the winner? Which event would drop out the first? Why? Sometimes I wonder if God isn’t going to ask me why I spent so much time on things that didn’t really matter and why I didn’t spend enough time on things that did.
I think that all events work together to bring a holistic approach to your kids ministry. Sometimes, though, in the midst of planning an awesome event, we forget what the end goal is. Do you have a clear goal for what each event will accomplish? Do you know why you are doing the event or is it just something that has always been done? Please know, I’m not saying quit doing events, just don’t lose site of the goal!
Here is a process that I went through a few years ago when I recognized I had lost sight of my end goal for VBS. I was all set to teach preteens. I had spent hours decorating our room and making it themed out just right. On the first day of VBS, we had so many preteens come that we had to change rooms and left all of our decorations behind. And you know what, not one of the 40+ preteens asked where the decorations were. I had spent far too much time getting the walls ready and not nearly enough time getting my heart ready. Again, decorating for VBS isn’t bad, but is our goal just to have the most “tricked out” VBS or to have the most spiritually-changing week of a child’s life?
I wonder how it would change our perspective if we reversed our brackets and started with the goal and worked our way backwards.
Jeff Land loves Life! That’s pretty great, because his job here at Lifeway is the Team Leader for Bible Studies for Life: Kids. Jeff loves his life which is so blessed by his amazing wife, Abbey, and their four sons, Reed, Nash, Will, and Tuck. A natural encourager and fun-lover, look for Jeff’s posts about teacher appreciation and game ideas. When not serving at work, Jeff serves 2nd graders at his church, First Baptist Church, Joelton, TN.