Monday, September 18, 2023

Take Time to Listen . . . To Children, Grandparents/Parents & Volunteers

Your school year ministries are likely winding down, hopefully you are getting ready to engage children/families in your Summer ministry opportunities, and it is time to begin planning for the Fall and back-to-school as well; as you prepare, do not forget to take time to listen . . . to the children, grandparents /parents, and volunteers. It can be all too easy to just "pay attention" to what we think and then do the things we want to do, but ministry is about far more than our own opinions. We need to listen to others - and act upon what we learn. When we do, our ministries will be far more effective. Consider the following . . . 

  • Listen to the children. Ask them what they remember from the previous week, month, quarter. If they are not able to answer, then you are NOT being effective in truly helping them learn God's Word.
  • Also be sure to ask the children how they are living God's Word. If they are not able to tell you how they have put feet to their faith and are living it, then you are NOT being effective in trying helping them learn to live God's Word.
  • Listen to the children to find out why they come to church - is it because their parents/grandparents make them come, or do they come because they want to be there and want to participate? What do they like most about your Children's Ministry? What do they like the least?
  • Listen to the grandparents/parents and ask them what they like best/least about your Children's Ministry. Ask them how often their grandchildren/children are in your ministry (most children are only there twice a month). 
  • Listen to the grandparents/parents and ask them if they have been able to see any differences in the lives of their grandchildren/children. Ask how the children have been living what they learn at church.
  • Listen to them to learn if they have any ideas for how you might be able to do things in a way which supports grandparents/parents in passing confident faith to the children they love.
  • Listen to the volunteers to learn what their greatest needs are in their classes - do they need help? Do they need resources? Do they need better training? What do they need?
  • Listen to learn what they most enjoy about serving?
  • Listen to the volunteers to find out why they serve and what you could do to make serving more of a joy for them.
These are just a few of the reasons to listen to others when it comes to your Children's Ministry.

Now, do keep in mind, while it is important to listen, truly listen, you also have to balance between listening and doing as you believe God wants you to do in your Children's Ministry. But, without listening, you will not be able to find out from the children, families, and volunteers about areas of your ministry where you are not being effective, so be sure to be a person who listens. (AND be certain you are not just disregarding what they tell you to do what you want by saying what you want is what God wants you to do.)

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