Summer is just about over. As a new school year begins, get off on the right foot by considering these five ideas as you engage in ministry with children.
Remember that God is at work
It is good to remember that God cares more about this ministry than you do. Our job is to follow God’s leading and cultivate an atmosphere in which the Holy Spirit will work. As you begin a new school year, ask yourself this question: Am I regularly praying for this ministry and the people in it—the children, families, and volunteers?
Partner with others
You are not in ministry as a lone ranger. By gathering a team around you, you have partners and fellow travelers on the ministry journey. What plans have you made to equip and appreciate your team this year? Check out Faith Formation Ministry’s Children’s Ministry Toolkit for some ideas on calling, encouraging, and equipping leaders in your ministry.
Think of ministry as relational
There is an old saying: “Faith is caught more than taught.” We often think that children’s ministry is all about the right curriculum and solid biblical teaching. While that is extremely important, it is good to remember that discipleship is relational. Intentional interactions with a community of people who are walking the faith journey can impact a child’s formation in a significant way. Do you have any activities planned for this year where children are interacting with other generations walking the faith journey? The Intergenerational Church Toolkit has many suggestions for cultivating a culture in which faith in God is nurtured and relationships are fostered between people of all ages.
In ministry, we have the privilege of partnering with parents in nurturing a child’s faith. How are you connecting with and equipping parents and families?
Another way to support and encourage parents is to ask the person who prepares your church bulletin to include the new “Family Faith Formation Tips” from FFM in your bulletin each week. Starting on August 29, these brief tips will be sent to your church in the weekly bulletin announcement email from the CRCNA. If you have questions about how this works, contact Anita Brinkman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also be on the lookout for the Family Ministry Toolkit coming this fall from FFM! Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter so you’ll be the first to know when it’s released.
Don’t lose track of the big picture
In the midst of a fall kick-off it is so easy to just deal with all the urgent details. Once you have gotten started this fall, take some time to evaluate the bigger picture of your ministry’s purpose and goals. How well are you accomplishing these goals? What changes might need to be made so that children are nurtured well in their faith?