Monday, April 30, 2012

Do You "Roll Up the Sidewalks" or "Kick it Into High Gear'?

What does Summer look like at your church? When it comes to your children's ministry, do you pretty much, "roll up the sidewalks" or do you "kick it into high gear"? If a new family were to visit your church in the summer, what would they think about your children's ministry? Would they be able to easily see your passion and commitment to children and families? What does it look like if you are a church where they "roll up the sidewalks" or a church where they "kick it into high gear"? Consider the following -

A church where they "roll up the sidewalks" may . . . 
  • not offer any children's ministry opportunities during the week - no mid-week ministry
  • not offer any children's Sunday school for at least part of the summer . . . they might say they are "giving the volunteers the summer off"
  • not offer any opportunities for families to grow and/or serve together
  • consider just VBS as their "Summer ministry" to children
  • may say their children's ministry is on "hiatus" for the Summer
A church where they "kick it into high gear" may . . . 
  • offer mid-week and Summer Sunday school all Summer long
  • may offer sports and/or arts camps, VBS, Super Tuesdays/or other days of the week throughout the summer
  • involve children and families in service opportunities
  • regularly challenge the adults in their church to be engaged and involved in the ministry to children and families all Summer long
I've been at churches where they "roll up the sidewalks" and churches where they "kick it into high gear" and have come to the following conclusions . . . 

If your church tends to "roll up the sidewalks" . . . 
  • It doesn't mean you do not care about the children and families in your church and community, but it may very well mean you do not truly understand how to effectively engage them 
  • It may mean you do not understand how the Summer is THE perfect time and opportunity to reach out to and engage children and families since the children are not in school
  • It may mean you need to take an honest look at if your commitment to children's ministry is just "on paper" - you may have a written vision/mission statement - but the actual "action" may be missing
  • It may mean you are more "adult-focused" and are not truly children/family focused
I believe the summer is the perfect time for us to go all out in reaching and engaging children and families in our church and communities! Most kids are not in school and after the first week or two of Summer vacation, many of them are looking for something to do . . . why not provide the "something" through and at our churches? It could be something you spend time to plan for, such as a sports or arts camp or it could be something relatively simple such as games in the park or family movie night at the church, but whatever you do, commit to help your church "kick it into high gear" and make the children and families of your church and community your focus for the Summer! 

All this month I'll be posting ideas you could use in your church . . . what do you do? Is your church one where you "roll up the sidewalks" or do you "kick it into high gear"?

1 comment:

  1. This blog post was incredibly thought-provoking and made me question my church’s children’s ministry. Unfortunately, it does seem as though we “roll up the sidewalks” during the summer season, and this is definitely something I’m going to bring up at our next staff meeting. Hopefully it will get my fellow ministers thinking about some changes we can make.