For those of you who are parents, you understand that kids seem to grow about as quickly as in this video. A dad filmed his daughter each week until her twelfth birthday and this is what he came up with:
Kids grow up very quickly! As parents, pastors and leaders, we have a unique window of opportunity to invest in our children and students. Celebrate each transition!
A class roster can be just a form of collecting data or it can be a useful tool of ministry. It is not hard to tell if a roster is a tool of ministry or just a mess. If it has 70 kids on it and half of them are now adults, it is not a being used as a tool of ministry. If that roster of 70 is for a class that has a average attendance of 4, it is not being used as a toll of ministry. Even if the roster has 6 children on it and there are 6 in the class I would argue that it is not a tool of ministry.
A roster is not to track numbers it is to keep track of regular attendees and invest in potential attendees. A roster is not about numbers, it is about relationship. A roster should be about twice the size of the class. Half of it should be children you currently minister to on a regular basis and the other half should be visitors and casual attendees that you are contacting on a regular basis that they may become regular attendees.
See the need. When you invest intentional time in the life of a child you will make an eternal difference.
- Always greet children at their level.
- Collect information during the first visit. Call and send a card before the following week.
- Make connections. Pair a first-time child with another caring child.
- Keep track of you class and remember each child is valuable to God
- If you don’t know each child on your roster, it is not a ministry tool.
- Your roster will only be your friend when you commit to call each of your children twice a month and send a card on occasion. Contacts will keep you rosters current and your relationships growing.
- Encourage your students to be bringers and add the visiting students to your rosters as prospects.
- Remember without visitors you won’t have prospects, without prospects your class has no chance to grow; thus your evangelism will cease.
The process of maintaining your roster is an extension of your ministry. Do not limit your ministry by neglecting the process.
Although working with kids is never boring, we can lose our passion and motivation in kid’s ministry. Here are a few great resources to help you find renewed passion, motivation and maybe even a few ideas. (And the best part? It’s all free!)
AGTV Did you know that AGTV has an entire channel devoted to ministry to students? This channel is packed with great videos from BGMC, Girls Ministries, Royal Rangers and interviews with children’s leaders!
Orange Even if you don’t use the Orange curriculum, they still have a lot to offer. They have a leaders’ blog, parents’ blog and tons of great articles to add fresh perspective to working with families within the context of church.
Children’s Ministry Group Publishing offers several great resources for training leaders, teaching and planning children’s lessons. Plus, they offer several free downloadable lessons and activities to get you started.
If you’re a girl, you’ll understand that one of the most exciting and fun things you can do on a Friday night is sleep on the floor of your church fellowship hall surrounded by friends (old and new) and and leaders who care about you. Although anyone who grew up in church can tell you there are few places on earth scarier than an empty church at night, a dark, uninhabited church can also make for one of the best places to play Hide and Seek, Underground Church and maybe even Truth or Dare. Sleepovers like this can create an environment perfect for building long-term friendships, making great memories and forming deep spiritual roots.
National Girls Ministries understands that these sleepovers are not only great opportunities to gather girls in your church, but also to reach out to girls in the community. Each spring, they release a sleepover planning guide complete with games, snack ideas and great devotionals.
The 2011 Sleepover theme is Themba Safari to correspond with this year’s Coins for Kids project. Pronounced TIM-BA, it’s the Zulu word for hope. These packets are available for download here or can be obtained by contacting the National Girls Ministries Department (417)862-2781. Traditionally, the sleepover is held the fourth Friday of September, but it could be hosted any weekend that works with your church calendar.
This event is perfect for churches big and small – all it takes is a handfull of girls and a couple of ladies to make the night a success. It can be a great event for churches who don’t already offer ministry specifically for girls. And, if you’re thinking of starting something like Mpact Girls Clubs, this could be a great launch event.
by Carol Pilcher
Open doors of faith and hope in young girls’ lives with powerful ministry that meets girls where they are. Girls encounter many difficult situations as they grow up, but by intentionally fostering relationships between girls and leaders you can create a safe place for girls to discuss issues they face and get godly counsel. Through Girls Clubs each girl can hear that God loves them and wants a relationship with her.
In other places of the world imagine 10- and 11- year-olds taking care of young siblings because their mother is too sick to help. Imagine a place where everyone is touched by HIV/AIDS.
This, too, is girls ministries. Through this year’s Coins for Kids missions project, Girls Ministries are providing cooking kitchens for families in South Africa who are in dire need of sanitary food and water preparation spaces.
These are called A Place of Joy South African Cooking Centers.
Each kitchen will have a stove, refrigerator, and cookware. The families will also experience support from local churches in their community. This will be a safe place for children to get a hot meal, ministry, tutoring, activities and counseling. Each child can hear that God loves her and wants a relationship with her.
To inspire your girls to raise money for this important project and to provide an opportunity for girls to invite friends to a fun event (with a clear gospel message), consider hosting a sleepover this year. For more information or to download this free sleepover resource, visit here.
Whether in our own churches or in a far away country Girls Ministries is there to help each girl. Her heart…her world…his purpose.
A few days ago I was privileged to sit in a training session with 14 individuals who are intentionally targeting university campuses in the fall of 2011. Over and over again I was reminded of the promise God gave me in the fall of 2008, “If you reach the university, I will send missionaries back to the nations who already know the language, culture, and do not need to raise a budget.” Chi Alpha enables us to influence the influencers in our nation as well as send international students back home having encountered Christ. Three years later we find ourselves on the verge of an answered prayer and a realized dream.
BGMC has generously offered partnership with Chi Alpha in Iowa. Excellence is a standard we deem normal. If we are going to reach the university we need resources. Each year leaders such as you give to BGMC. I am asking you to focus some of those resources strategically in order to successfully move forward with Chi Alpha in our state.
Chi Alpha is hosting a Pheasant Hunt Missions Rally at Doc’s Hunt Club in Adel on Saturday, October 22nd. It will be a great day of skeet shooting and pheasant hunting. Seven birds will be released for each hunter, as well as a guide and hunting dog for each party. You are welcome to bring as many people as you’d like from your church however, we are asking that each hunter be prepared to make a pledge of at least $1,200 to be paid over the coming year. Also, we would ask that each hunter bring a seed offering to the event. Please see this flyer for more information. If you have any further questions please call Jonathan Barthalow at 515-473-5208.
Thank you for being a part of sustainable impact in Iowa. He is on the move in our land. His fame is to spread worldwide. As we embrace the responsibility to resource our college ministries, please remember, that you are sowing seed into the soil of eternity. God bless you!
Throughout my time in children’s ministry, I have worked to incorporate good children’s literature into my preschool lessons, but have found myself frustrated to find books that tell stories with lessons I want to reinforce with our kids.
In 2011, children’s books look a little different. When stuck in a waiting room for too long, parents can simply download a book onto their iPad or iPhone!
And now, the wonderful things about children’s books, technology, and learning godly principles come together with this great new resource coming from Influence!