For many years, I avoided anything to do with our children’s ministry. I cringed when I would be asked to go to kids camp or to participate in VBS. I always made it out to be the most inconvenient and worst weeks ever, so I simply turned down the offer.
Students Pastors, please take time to get to know your Children’s Ministry. Do not be like me. Take time to get to know your children’s minister, their ministry, and those whom they minister to. Here is why…
Get to know the kids and their parents before they get to you.
I never understood how important this is to people. Many times parents were about to send their kids up to the student ministry and neither the kids nor the parents knew anything about me. Because I did not make the effort to reach out to families before they arrived in my ministry, I lost many of them.
Parents who are scared will find any reason not to send their kids to the student ministry. Unfortunately for student ministries, many of us, whether intended to or not, have some stories going around about our ministry. I have had this happen to me. I just arrived at a church, as their student pastor, and went to camp, for the first time, with this group of students. I knew nothing about the students and I did not know the volunteers well or in some cases at all. One night some pranks got slightly out of hand. No one was hurt or kicked out of camp. Unfortunately, rumors spread about what happened. Since I did not spend the rest of the summer getting to know the incoming 7th grade class and their parents, I lost about 1/3 of the families. When I finally called to find out why this group stopped coming, many of their parents said because they did not know me and they heard I ran a crazy student ministry. Simply calling these parents earlier, introducing myself to them, and getting to know their students would have alleviated these issues.
Align your ministry goals.
There is something powerful about when next generation ministries align their goals. It allows the church to produce a strong disciple before students leave the church to go to college or the workforce. Most ministries do not have a plan to hand off students into the next ministry. By aligning ministries, each age group can build on top of what has been built before. This is as simple as creating cohesive curriculum from preschool to college or doing Rites of Passages. Aligning ministries does not have to be difficult.
It demonstrates unity in the staff to the whole church.
The church rarely sees the children’s and youth ministry communicate. Seeing the student ministry working with the children’s ministry shows the entire church that staff is united. Unity is a powerful tool to have when trying to get more people involved in the ministries. Staff members working seamlessly together indicates something must be great. People want to tag along to greatness.
They need your encouragement
Finally, we all have been there. We need encouragement. I know I feel most encouraged by my fellow staff members when they participate in my ministry. It shows they care and are invested in me. Student Pastors, become involved in your children’s ministry.
Guest Blogger – Will Crum, Student Pastor (K-12), FBC Kimberling City, Missouri