A few years back, I took a great class at Children’s Ministry University Online about kids in the ministry. It was all about getting kids more involved in the week to week tasks of a children’s ministry program.
Dick Gruber also talks a bit about this in his book, Cultivating a Cutting-Edge Children’s Ministry. He mentions that we spend years telling kids to sit still and be quiet (be a spectator) and then are surprised when all they want to do as adults is sit still and listen to the sermon. If want to cultivate a culture of service in the church, it needs to start with our youngest members.
We try to get kids involved whenever possible, usually using some kind of seasonal display. Last fall, we used pumpkins to display jobs and names.
Each week, we would pick names and kids would adhere there name badge with some sticky tack as I made the rest of the announcements.
Some Tips and Tricks
If you’re thinking about getting kids more involved, here are some tips and tricks we learned along the way:
Rotate jobs every week
We used to have kids assigned to a job for a month, thinking it would keep them motivated to not miss a week. However, we know that kids are mostly at the mercy of their transportation and we often ended up with gaps in the job department. Now, we pick names from the kids who are in attendance each week. It creates a lot more hype and kids seem excited to pick a job.
Make sure kids understand the job
We generally write a short description on the job sign itself, but I also try to quickly go over the expectations for each job about once a month. Everyone (including kids!) feels better if they know what is expected of them and explaining the job helps kids feel successful from the beginning.
When in doubt, pair them with an adult
A few jobs require a little more attention than others (using the walkie talkies for parent pick up), and for these, we’ve paired kids with an adult. It keeps everything running smoothly while still training up a younger worker for real service.
Big and small, they like them all
Think about all the things you do each week and really consider passing it off on a kid. They love being helpful! From turning on and off the lights (for video clips) to passing out Bibles, they seem to get excited about being involved in any way. So keep the jobs coming and keep those kids engaged in service!