“I just used all my skills,” with a shoulder shrug was the charming reply of my 5-year-old grandson when asked about his accomplishment. I love claiming that saying when considering my own successes. As a Children’s Ministry Director for over 15 years, it was always my goal to create compelling faith experiences for children and their families. I learned early that I needed to rely on all MY skills and so much more.
My top 5:
- Cast a vision and share it with your team and our families. They can’t buy in unless they can see it. Always important but especially now with a shrinking base of volunteers and what many are calling a rebuilding time.
- Invite. Children and parents and grandparents; neighbors and seniors. Help them see their place in faith formation of children> Recruit others to invite. Find ways to reach outside your circle. Get personal!
- Make engaging lessons accessible for teachers and students. Equip your teachers to cater to different, creative learning styles. Build in adaptations for age, time, and space.
- Listen to your people and other influencers in ministry. Build on the successes of others. (One great reason that I faithfully read this blog!) Brainstorm. Collaborate. Network.
- “Do all the good you can” — in this case, maximize every effort and every dollar to reach the most for Jesus!
I began serving in children’s ministry at a time when it was rather vanilla. Many great parents routinely taught using pamphlets and coloring sheets and a great Bible story. Fortunately, my mentor encouraged me to step it up a few notches and adopt the Workshop Rotation Sunday School method.
Talk about a facelift in many ways! Sunday mornings went from simple to spectacular. Our lessons began to fully engage kids by addressing all learning styles through workshops employing art, cooking, movies, media, drama and more. Teaching teams were easy to build. Kids and parents loved it and everyone learned while they were loving it. On Sunday mornings, there was excitement in the air. Best part: relationships were built with Jesus AND among our community.
Fast forward to today. Many of today’s leaders are tasked with rebuilding or energizing a ministry. I encourage everyone to look at Rotation.org. If you feel like a change is in order, there is every resource there to help you see how to get started.
However, if you are most interested in “upping your game” within a traditional Sunday school model, there you will find lessons and support with engaging lessons built upon creative learning styles. There are also very complete background materials which equip new or experienced teachers. Adaptations for our new normal are being added weekly.
I serve at Rotation.org with a team of experienced volunteers who are eager to help you find the answers you need via online collaboration. And finally, it is very accessible at a rate of $45 per year. Our one goal is to equip leaders to “Do all the good you can” for Jesus. We want to help you “use all your skills!”
Robin Stewart served the families on staff as the Children’s Ministry Director at Athens First United Methodist Church in Athens, Georgia until her recent retirement. She believes in Rotation.org so much, she continues to volunteer her time and energy to making their resources known and shared. Robin is a wife, mother, and grandmother. You can connect with Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Rotation.org is a nonprofit funded entirely by subscriptions with only one paid website manager.