Monday, January 9, 2012

10 Keys to an Exceptional Children’s Ministry

Today and tomorrow the Elementary and Preschool are devoting ourselves to taking our ministries to Mountaintop kids and families to a next level.  This morning we reviewed 10 Keys to an Exceptional Children’s Ministry.

Love Jesus.   This is non-negotiable whether you are a volunteer or on staff, upfront or working behind the scenes.  Team members without a passionate love for Christ will dilute your ministry.

Love Kids.  Liking kids isn’t enough.  Loving “the idea of kids” isn’t enough.  Your team has to be sold out in love with kids.  Loving kids means you are there for the kids and not to meet a need in yourself.

Recognize that there is a direct correlation between Children and Family Ministries.  You can’t minister to kids if you aren’t resourcing and equipping the parents.  Resources (time, energy, programming) should be spilt equally between ministering to the kids and the family.  Think ORANGE!

Know the “center of your target.”  Once you know the target, become an “expert” in the life and culture of your target.  What are they watching on tv, where do they shop, what’s important to them?  What are your “targets” developmental stages and how are the changes?

Pass the Baton Without Dropping.  Take a “long-view” in planning the “scope and sequence” of the development of a “disciple.”  Pay attention to the handoff between ministries.  Set the goal for what the “final product” is supposed to look like.

Spend Money Intentionally.  Everything we do conveys both explicit messages and implicit messages.  Environment is important and first impressions can only be made once.  Remember the medium is the message and people are paying attention.

Sprinkle Pixie Dust Whenever You Can.  Regularly and unapologetically spread a little “magic.”  The gospel message deserves our very best.  Engage the childlike sense of wonder and awe. (Glitter helps)

Customize Everything You Do.  Just because it works at Northpoint or Willow Creek doesn’t mean it works for you.  Make it your own.  Ask the “Cinderella Question:” Does the shoe really fit?  Relentlessly pursue finding the “shoe that fits.”

Clear Expectations, Accountability, Teamwork. Communication are Non-Negotiable.  One of my most defining leadership moments came when two trusted team members shared with me that they felt as if they were failing to meet the expectations I was poorly communicating!  Ouch!  Teamwork means investing in each other’s lives.  Expectations, Teamwork and Accountabilty can’t happen without open, honest and consistent communication.

a.     Make no assumptions
b.     Par is not your friend – the gospel business deserves better
c.      Look for opportunities to coach toward expectations

Bump the Lamp.  Make an internal decision that you won’t settle for “good enough” but will always do one extra step, even if it takes more time and energy and even if no one ever notices.  ( if you don’t know the phrase “Bump the Lamp: its a Disney creation – look it up – you will be glad you did)

1 comment:

  1. This is so great. It has always been my goal to not just teach the children about the love of Christ, and to love on them, but to love on their families, inspire them to be strong, and to get those little people ready for the next level. We are so blessed to have you and your leadership and vision.