Monday, February 1, 2016

Five ways to Get, "Out of the Box" in Your Children's Ministry - #5 - Connect with the Youth

I've been writing about whether your Children's Ministry is, "in the box" or,
"out of the box" when it comes to interacting with other areas of your church, so for the rest of this week, I'm going to look at some specific ways you can do exactly this . . . get out of the box, and stop being "compartmentalized" in your ministry. Today I want to look at getting out of the box by engaging the Youth Ministry. 

Before we look at this, let me say, I do believe in this day and age we have to be cautious about how and where we involve teens in our Children's Ministry. While I was ten years old when I began serving in my church's Children's Ministry (I taught a class of four-year olds on Wednesday night), today we sadly need to have much stricter policies in place due to safety concerns. If a situation should arise in your Children's Ministry where a volunteer is accused of harming a child,  children/teens under the age of 16 are not likely going to be able to give testimony in a court of law. Plus, while I have been able to see young teens who served with excellence in Children's Ministry, I have also noticed teens who play with the children they know and ignore those they do not know.

Before you allow children/teens under the age of 16 to serve in your Children's Ministry, check with your insurer to see if they have any policies regarding the minimum age they will allow a volunteer to serve in the Children's Ministry. If they require volunteers to be at least 16 years old, be honest and abide by this.

If your insurer does not have a policy regarding the age of a volunteer, for the protection of the children in your ministry, never allow a teen to serve without an adult who is present as well.

Having said these things, how might you get, "out of the box" and engage the Youth Ministry in your Children's Ministry? Consider the following . . . 
  • You could involve teens by having them lead the worship/praise time.
  • You could involve teens by having them clean the toys each week in the nursery and preschool classes.
  • You could have the teens organize supplies and fill orders for teachers, so the teachers have what they need, ready to go, in their classes each week.
  • You could involve teens in presenting Bible dramas to children's classes on special occasions. 
  • For teens who are at least 16 years old, have them serve as helpers with the children. (Be sure to interview and put them through your safety screening as you would with any volunteer.)
  • Teens could help with sign-in and be there to greet children/families before the teens go to their own classes.
  • You could put together a team of teen prayer warriors - far too often we think of older people when we think of prayer warriors, but just imagine if you had teens who prayed!!! Have these teen prayer warriors pray for the Children's Ministry, the children, the volunteers, and pray for the children's prayer requests.
These are just a few ways you could get, "out of the box" and engage the Youth Ministry in your Children's Ministry. How do you do this in your ministry?

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