No matter your teaching style there are simply some things you should and shouldn’t do in children’s ministry. Leadership in these areas requires dedication and a great deal of thinking on your feet. As an experienced children’s pastor who regularly trains new leaders, I see some common problems resurface, many that could be averted if the leader remembered the 10 commandments of children’s ministry. During my training sessions, I share my list. Maybe it will help you too.
10 Commandments of Children’s Ministry Leadership
- Keep everything Christ-focused. Kids get enough “entertainment” outside the doors of your children’s ministry facility. Give them plenty of Jesus when they spend time with you.
- Remember the child’s name or know how to ask. I am the world’s worst at remembering names and it isn’t because I don’t care. I just don’t remember until after a few visits. What I do is catch them at the visitor table and ask them to: (Ask the child to sign the visitor sheet or spell their name aloud for you to write on a name tag. You could also introduce them to another child. “Hey, I would like you to meet Cindy. Tell her your name and how old you are.”)
- Start and end every service with prayer. Dedicate the service to the Lord and handle specific requests at the end.
- Offer encouragement and support to other children’s ministry leaders. It’s the Golden Rule in action!
- Come with a plan. Children’s pastor Bill Wilson of Metro Kids once said, “If you don’t on a program for kids, they will put one on for you.” So true. Have a plan!
- Keep it simple. Complicated games, complicated stories, complicated crafts-avoid all these. Give kids milk, not meat.
- Reinforce your lesson or point multiple ways. I usually take the verse, play a game using it, present an object lesson about it and then teach on it. If possible, I add relevant praise and worship songs to the program, too.
- Have a discipline plan and stick to it.
- Take the time to love kids!
- Don’t forget the snacks. Childhood hunger is a real problem, even amongst the church. Bring a snack to share with everyone.
By sticking to these 10 commandments, you’ll have an exciting program for the kids in your class or ministry.