Finding ways to improve and grow in your children’s ministry in the new year is such an exciting process. How are you hoping to grow this year? Perhaps it’s in doing more service in the community. Or, maybe teaching the children more about the Bible. It could be to help foster family friendships or figure out ways of welcoming children into worship. There’s so much possibility for what God will do! And there are things you can be doing to facilitate it. So, we’ve put together a list of ten ways to help you get strategic in mapping out how your children’s will grow in the new year.
Strategic Planning for Children’s Ministry Growth
Assess the last year. Look back over the year and decide what went well and why. Then discern what you’d like to do again and what you’d like to shift in the coming year.
Reflect on your church’s mission statement. Use the beginning of the year to connect to the purpose of your church in your community and in the world. This helps to root what it is you are doing and can give you a broader understanding of why.
Create this year’s mission statement for your ministry. Once you’ve considered where you’ve been and where you are, alone or together with leaders, decide on your mission statement for the coming year. It’s what all your ministry choices will hang on. It becomes the guiding standard for what and why you do what you do. For example, “To teach children about God’s creative love in the world.”
Define your strategy. Define the broad way you plan to do this. For example, “To create a safe and engaging learning environment where children discover God’s love.”
Set objectives you’d like to achieve. Take time to discuss what specific things you’d like to see improve this coming year. For example, “Clear a space outdoors for children to explore. Create opportunities for children to see and appreciate diversity. Spend more time with children’s families.”
Outline initiatives that will accomplish your objectives. Here, get specific about what you will do to accomplish these things by creating measurable goals. For example, “Plant shrubs that will attract hummingbirds. Buy gardening tools and bug boxes for children to use in their outdoor space. Work together on a service project with the church across town. Plan time twice per month for a leader to check in and/or hang out with a child and their family.”
Focus On What Matters
Make relationships top priority. Plan to foster deep relationships in the new year. For example, allow for quality time, create social media groups, send text check-ins to parents and/or kids, attend activities and performances. Kids who feel important and known, as well as their families, will be far more likely to be a part of the church consistently, invite friends, and remain connected to their faith in God.
Invite leaders to invest in the ministry. Contrary to common assumption, volunteers don’t want to hear how little is required of them to be involved with your ministry. Creating a deep desire in people to come alongside a ministry requires them to feel like what they will be doing matters and affects the kids they work with. Knowing it’s a big commitment actually communicates this and motivates even really busy volunteers to invest time and energy.
Thank your volunteers often. Mail thank you cards. Host dinner. Bake them cookies. Recognize them in church. Leave them notes of gratitude in their classrooms. Keeping morale and commitment up comes from doing relatively simple things. Feeling appreciated and seen is a major motivator for anyone, and especially for your volunteers.
Declutter. Do less with more intention. Think about planning fewer events and improve the ones you do. Additionally, consider hosting fewer meetings and discuss content that really needs direct, significant input from leaders. Get very clear about what you hope for and steer clear of distractions.
We hope this list has been helpful in helping you imagine ways you can make way for children’s ministry growth in your church. Tell us how you’re getting ready to facilitate God’s work in the new year in the comments below! And don’t forget to download your free download below!