Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kidmin1124 Radio Show & Some Questions to Consider - How Do I Determine My Vision/Purpose for the Children's Ministry?

Tomorrow evening at 9pm (Eastern) the Kidmin1124 Radio Show will be focusing on Forming a Cohesive Vision - what it is, how do we develop a vision and how do we implement it. Please plan to join us on the CM Connect Chat Room for this discussion - I've been invited to be a panelist and I'd love to have the opportunity to interact with you during this radio show!

I posted this article on vision back on June 27th and decided to share it with you again . . . I believe it is essential for us to have a specific, written vision for our children's ministries if they are going to be effective . . . so what do you do if you do not have such a vision? Consider the following . . . 

  • Get a copy of the vision statement for your church. Your children's ministry vision statement should match your church's vision statement with a focus on the children's ministry. For example, the vision for my church is – “To be a healthy spiritual community marked by uncompromising love for Jesus Christ, caring commitment to each other and bold compassion for those who don’t yet share Christ’s life.”  So, my church’s vision for our children’s ministry is for it to be - “A healthy community marked by uncompromising love for and commitment to children, families and Christ!”  Again, your vision may be similar or completely different, but it should reflect your church’s heart and what you want your children's ministry to look like.  Remember, teaching aims and the vision for your ministry are not the same thing.  It may be a teaching aim for you to help your kids memorize Scripture or learn the 10 Commandments or study the Beatitudes.  Your ministry vision is where you want to see your children’s ministry end up.
  • Gather a group of people from your church to help you craft your children's ministry vision - be sure to include volunteers, parents and church leaders. Use your church's vision to help frame the children's ministry vision.
  • Once you have your vision, determine your children's ministry purpose. Why do we have a children’s ministry?  Because the adults in your church have kids and you have to do something with them, right?!!!  It’s more than that.  Why do you have a children’s ministry?  Anyone can provide a babysitting service for kids, but a children’s ministry is more than that.  What is your purpose for having a children‘s ministry?  As you develop your church’s purpose for your children’s ministry, keep in mind the purpose God has for PARENTS - read Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and Psalm 78:1-8.  The church must be careful in the development of their children’s ministry purpose that they do not replace the parents. My church has a purpose for our children’s ministry - “To support families in discipling their children as they grow to love God and serve Him with their lives."  Your purpose may be similar, or completely different, but it should reflect your own church’s unique purpose. Remember, your purpose should explain how you will accomplish your vision for your children’s ministry.  For example, my church’s vision for our children’s ministry is to be a – “healthy community marked by uncompromising commitment to children, families and Christ.”   We can become that community by supporting families as they disciple their children to love God and serve Him.

Once you determine your vision and purpose for your children's ministry then consider the following steps to help your church understand them.
1.    Put your vision/purpose in words and get it out before the eyes and heart of your congregation.
a.    Make posters for your walls
b.    Make bookmarks and put them in bulletins, at your visitor/information booth and provide for all CE classes.
c.    Ask everyone to pray for your children's ministry with your vision and purpose in mind.
2.    Evaluate and select your curriculum based on if it provides the tools to accomplish your vision/purpose - and use your vision/purpose to determine which opportunities you invest your time, resources and volunteers in providing for your children's ministry.

 Your ministry vision and purpose are essential ingredients for your own unique recipe for effective children's ministry. 

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