crayons

Get Your Ministry Space Organized

Organization //

I finally had enough.  I couldn’t take it any more.  I couldn’t see the floor of my office. Piles of stuff were scattered everywhere.  I could barely walk over and sit in my chair. Papers were piled up on my desk.   The closet in my office was in such a mess too!  So much that I just decided to throw things in there instead of trying to put it where it belongs.  VBS stuff had been consuming my office since April and I had let other areas of my ministry get piled up, too.  I just couldn’t stand seeing my tiny little office in such disarray!  Now that VBS was over, I thought it was a good time to get re-organized.

Let me preface this by saying, that I consider myself an organized person.  However, over the past few months between Easter events and VBS prep, I had let my office go down.  It took me about a week to go through every single thing in my office.    It’s amazing what you find.  Things you once thought were long gone suddenly appear.   Why couldn’t I find these things when I really needed them?  I guess I just forgot where I stashed them!  I cleaned and I purged.  It felt so good to throw things away or take them to the nearest thrift store.  Lots of things were stuff people had donated to the children’s ministry.  I accepted these things and just put them in my office thinking I might use them one day.  Well, after 4 years of not using them (and really no room to store them),  I decided they had to go.   I also took out the couch, replaced it with a chair and added a cabinet to help organize other things.  I love my clean and organized office!

You may be saying, “My ministry space is beyond help.  How would I ever get things organized?  I don’t have the time or patience to do that.”  I would gladly come and help you, but I’ll share with you here what worked for me.

1.  Get motivated.  Nothing motivates me more than seeing a messy room.  However, it may take a while to find this motivation.  If you are lacking this motivation but really want to get organized, say a little prayer and ask God to help you find that motivation.

2.  Start with your office.  Get your office in order first and then you’ll feel like you can conquer the rest of your ministry space.  Organize those papers on your desk by putting them in file folders, labeled, and into a filing cabinet.  Organize the filing cabinet by categories so you’ll know where to find the folders when you need them.   Put all those office supplies neatly away in your desk drawer.  I like to buy those small storage trays to organize by pens/pencils, paper clips, rubberbands, etc.  They are cheap and will make your desk drawer look so good.

Got bookshelves in your office?  Organize your books by categories as well.  I like to organize by curriculum, leadership, games, Bibles, etc.  Whatever you have, put those books in an order where you can remember where they are when you need them.                   Got a closet in your office?  Make sure that closet is organized.  I used some clear bin drawers to put things in and then I labeled the outside of those bins.  This helps keep everything in order and in its place.

3.  Children’s Ministry Supply Room .  You’ve finished  your office, now it’s time to get that supply room organized.  Go through all of your supplies and group them by categories:  markers, construction paper, scissors, brushes, paint, etc.   When you have that done, go buy some of those small clear storage bins with the lids (Wal-Mart has some Sterilite ones for .94 each).  I put things by categories into each bin,

labeled the outside, and put them in the storage cabinet (Beforehand, I bought several Sterilite storage cabinets and put them together.  But, you can also use bookshelves if you have those at your church).  I also grouped construction paper by colors and put them all in one cabinet.  Then I typed up a list of all that was in each cabinet, printed it out, laminated it, and taped it to the outside of the cabinet door. That way volunteers can see what’s in the cabinet (and hopefully put it back in the same cabinet).

If you want to provide a work space for your volunteers, then you can set up a table and put out a paper cutting board, pencil sharpener, tape, stapler, hole puncher, and other supplies a teacher might need to use.

4.  Move on to Kids Classrooms   Every classroom needs to be organized, too.  Make sure each class is supplied with the basic necessities:  markers, crayons, glue sticks, scissors, tape, stapler, several Sharpies, and Bibles.  That way teachers don’t have to pull those supplies out of the supply room each week.  You can put these supplies in clear bins and label them as well and stick them in the cabinets in each classroom.

4.  Take your volunteers through the newly organized space    The volunteers will be the ones using the classrooms and supply room, so make sure you walk them through the rooms and let them see where everything is located.  It will make it easier come Sunday morning!

5.  Sit back and enjoy your newly organized KidMin space   It feels so good to be organized and you worked hard to make it happen!

After having finished my office and supply room this past week, I even got inspired and motivated to organize my Pinterest board.  I got this inspiration from Kathie Phillips (she blogs at http://www.kidminspiration.com).  I saw her very organized Pinterest board where she has grouped all KidMin things into categories.  Instead of having one KidMin board, she has multiple boards.  I loved it and I got busy this week rearranging my KidMin board and separating them out by categories.  Here is a link to my Pinterest boards:  http://www.pinterest.com/vtmyers03/                                                                                          (Make sure you check out Kathie Phillips boards too).

Being organized is very important in Children’s Ministry.  There is so much that is needed and you must keep it all in order for your ministry to function.  If you need help, I would be glad to assist you or offer advice if needed!  What other ways do you organize your ministry?

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About the Author

Vanessa Myers has been in the ministry for 13 years serving in Youth Ministry & Children’s Ministry and currently serving as the Children’s Director at Dahlonega UMC. She has found that children’s ministry is her passion. She enjoys sharing the love of Jesus with all children, teaching the kids the Bible stories in fun and exciting ways, and planting seeds in the spiritual lives of these children. Vanessa has found another calling to be one of encouraging other Children’s Ministers and loves to write and share her experiences on her blog. Vanessa and her husband, Andrew, have 2 daughters and live in Dahlonega, GA. You can follow Vanessa on Twitter at: vtmyers0921.