I love children’s ministry and it is likely pretty safe to assume, most – if not all – of you who read About the Children’s Department, also love children’s ministry. Because we love children’s ministry, it is very easy to focus on what we are doing: Sunday School, Mid-Week, Summer Ministry, Special Events, recruiting volunteers, training volunteers, keeping our ministry safe, volunteer appreciation, parent meetings, etc . . . and all of these are absolutely things for us to focus on. But, along with these things, do we make evaluating everything a priority or do we run from one thing to the next without ever really stopping to see if we are “hitting the mark”?
If we are not committed to “hitting the mark”, then we run the risk of becoming a children’s ministry which is just “fluff”. One which is a fun place to be; one which does fun things, but one which is not truly helping children know and walk with Jesus for all of their lives.
- Have a written ministry purpose, aim, goal so you know what the “mark” is which you are trying to “hit”
- Put together evaluating teams comprised of parents who have children participating in each ministry opportunity, volunteers who are serving, children who are participating and yourself. Meet with your team every month, quarter or at least twice a year to evaluate how effective you really are. Ask your team what they liked best about each opportunity you offer. Ask what they liked least. Ask what they would like to see you do; or do differently. Ask children what they learned and how they have lived it in their lives. Ask parents what their children learned and how they are living it in their lives.
- Be sure each person knows you want to know what they REALLY think; not to worry about hurting your feelings because you really want to know what is working and what is not working.