Thursday, July 14, 2016

Plan a Prayer Walk to Start your 2016/17 School Year of Ministry!

While it may seem like Summer just began, the new school year is almost upon us. There are many things to do before the new school year begins, including -
  • Select curriculum
  • Train volunteers
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Plan and hold a back-to-school parent/grandparent meeting
  • Plan and hold a back-to-school prayer walk
There are other things to do, but these are five of the big ones - they all are important, but, today I want to focus on planning and holding a back-to-school prayer walk!

In the past my church has held a, "Prayer Walk" which gave everyone in the church the
opportunity to walk through the children's and youth areas of our church and pray for all the ministry which would take place in the coming school year. It was wonderful!

So, I want to, give you some ideas for a Prayer Walk. If you have not planned to do something similar, you still have time to plan a prayer walk of your own to help families understand what will be happening in the Children's Ministry at your church in the coming year - and most importantly, how they can pray!

A few details to cover . . . 
  • Schedule your event for an evening - plan for an open house format so families are able to come and go in about a three or four hour time span as best fits their schedule.
  • Plan to personally greet each person as they arrive - this is a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with the families in your ministry. 
  • Give each family a booklet with a map to guide them on their walk and with information about each area of ministry - nursery through college age - as well as specific prayer requests for each area. 
  • If you have a budget for it you might have items like pens or a carabiner imprinted with words like, "Guiding Children" and provide a card with the mission of the Children's Ministry on it (put a hole in the card so they will be able to put it on the carabiner). 
  • Prepare cards for each area of your ministry for families to collect as they work through your Children's Ministry. For example, in the Nursery you might have something with Matthew 19:14 and specific requests for the Nursery Ministry -"Pray for safety for children in the nursery and throughout our ministry. Pray for parents as they begin their role as guides in their children's spiritual development." In the Preschool Ministry your card might have Proverbs 22:6 and "Pray for our ministry as we support parents by providing opportunities for children to grasp fundamental Bible truths and apply them to their lives." 
  • Consider making the "walk" interactive so along with praying in each room, families do something - for example, in your preschool area you could cover the tables with colorful butcher paper and invite people to write or draw their prayer for the little ones!
  • Consider setting up stations in rooms where each opportunity for children is represented: Sunday Morning, Wednesday Night, Summer Ministry, Special Needs, DivorceCare4Kids, Children's Choir, etc. so families could pray for each of these areas. 
  • Set aside a room with empty chairs with cards on them - one card for each area of ministry where you still need volunteers to get involved - you could print Matthew 9:37b, 38 and "Pray for a greater level of commitment across the ministry and more people to commit to regular, faithful service."
You could end your evening with a meal - especially if you ask people to fast for the day, so you "break" the fast with a supper together! You could provide a simple meal, or hold it as a pot-faith and ask everyone to bring something to share.

Prayer Walks are "self-guided" . . . provide maps and you might put paper footprints on the floor throughout your building! You could do an event like this as your Fall Ministry begins and get your church praying for your ministry to the children, youth and young adults . . . what could be a better way to start the ministry year?

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