Who's Ready for Some Fun?

by Mark Entzminger/ October 10, 2019

The final segment in my series on the four anchors has arrived. If you’ve been following along, you’ve learned  how failure to utilize any of these anchors can short circuit the long-term success of a children’s ministry.

If you haven’t seen the previously posted articles, be sure to check out these as well:

  1. Safety Must Come First
  2. Watch Me Grow
  3. It Takes a Village

Our final anchor is “Fun!”

That’s right! If your children’s ministry does not have the right balance of fun, you’ll soon have kids sitting with their parents in the adult service (which isn’t always a bad thing) or out of control, and not really learning anything.

The anchor of fun is not about measuring how loud the kids cheer on command, or whether they run for candy. It’s not even about ensuring the first question parents ask is, “Did you have fun today?” is answered with a hearty yes. Fun goes much deeper than that.

Here are a few things to consider for ensuring you have the right balance of fun within your ministry moments.

  1. Positive emotions help learning go deeper.
  2. Kids want to go to places they enjoy.
  3. Parents don’t want a fight on Sunday morning. When kids have a great time, it makes going to church as a family much easier.

Let’s consider some of the ways to help ensure the right balance of fun moments.

  1. Make your welcome engaging: Have the right style of music playing. Have leaders prepared and talking with the children as they arrive. Consider activities the kids will enjoy that don’t incite craziness.
  2. Use upbeat songs kids know: When choosing worship, consider allowing the kids to truly master the songs. This may mean more repetition than would be done for youth or adult ministries, but if the kids love a song, it’s okay to repeat it from week to week.
  3. Have subdued moments: If it’s all craziness, loud, and fast paced, kids will become numb to that level and you’ll have to amp it up farther and farther. Using strategic moments where things are simple and quiet can help maintain balance.
  4. Understand a child’s rhythm: As a general rule, try to ensure a single ministry moment is not much longer than a few minutes unless there is a well-planned portion that keeps their attention.
  5. Help older kids understand they are leaders: Once a child has heard the story of Jonah or your favorite illustration for the 80th time, they tend to spoil the story for the younger kids who are primarily “followers” in the ministry. Help the older kids know you are expecting them to set the tone and help the younger kids get as much out of the time as possible.

Here are some ideas you might want to consider as you assess the “fun” level in your ministry.

  1. Theme Nights: Once a quarter or month, have a night that allows the kids and leaders to dress differently, talk differently, or come prepared for unique activities.
  2. Celebrations: Create challenges and goals that allow for a break in the routine and have a special snack, game night, or other kind of celebration.
  3. Special Guests: Perhaps there are people in your community who could come in from time to time for special events—first responders, science teachers, astronomers, etc.

Consider how balanced your ministry is in the fun category. If it’s too much fun, there may be chaos, because many of the kids don’t calm down to learn. If it’s too educational or safe, they will end up being bored.

Be smart about how you engage the fun factor.

Now, who’s ready for some fun?