by Dave Brock/ January 17, 2017
Different churches have different structures and models that are used each weekend during kids’ services. The way we structure our service can say a lot to parents, kids, and volunteers about your priorities for kids’ ministry. Throughout my time in ministering to kids, I have found some universal truths about a service structure that will continue to help your ministry be healthy. Here are three suggestions:
1. Watch what you skip.
I am sure you have been here before: As your kids’ service is near the end, you wonder if the adult service is running ahead, behind, or on time. If you find yourself having to adjust the service other than how you had planned, choose wisely what is being skipped. Some choices may seem easier than others. What would you choose between: free time or snack? Game or memory verse? If we choose to omit the spiritual aspects of our service because we simply did not have enough time or wanted more “fun” time, we are communicating to everybody that our priority is not God’s Word but instead having a good time at church.
2. Is this a “kids’ pastor only” show?
Volunteers are an important aspect of kids’ ministry. We would not be able to do what we do without them! However, are you giving them roles to stretch them and to allow them to grow, or are you letting them sit to the side while you exhaust yourself trying to do too many things? Don’t let this be what I call “The Dave Brock Show.” (You can put your name in there if you want.) Some days you may find yourself having to do more throughout the kids’ service. But if you can find volunteers who can be trained to lead instead of assist, you will find your services transformed.
When I first started doing ministry, it was often me leading the intro, offering, prayer, games, memory verse, worship, the lesson, and everything else that had to be done. Now I often find myself doing only one or two of those things. Other leaders have been trained to fill in those roles. This model communicates to your church that you know you cannot do it by yourself.
3. It is not just about the kids.
Maybe you have some volunteers who are new to your church, even new to Christ. If they are spending time in your ministry, they are listening to what is being taught. This is a great opportunity to make sure your lessons are something that can be applied to your volunteers lives as well. After all, this may be the only service they experience that week. In doing this, you communicate that you value your volunteers enough to invest in them even while they are serving.
Some services can and will look different. Some have only large-group settings, others mix it with large and small groups, while others may just be the small-group setting, particularly if your church is small. Whatever style you decide to use in your kids’ church, remember this: It is important that the things you do continue to point everybody (including volunteers and parents) to Christ.