Children's Ministries Best Practices
Mission Statement – What we are trying to do:
“To Partner with parents so that in Gods timing they will develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
All children’s programs / material should have common Graphic Logos.
We should run the same children’s program at all services each week so if a family attends a different service they do not miss the continuity of the lessons.
The curriculum should be selected on the basis of its ability to be run with all age groups at the same time. The “Faithweaver” curriculum has all levels doing the same lesson with the same key verse but at an age appropriate level for each. This way each family can focus on one lesson per week with all their children.
All volunteers should be interviewed and have police checks.
Rules of Conduct:
All teachers should be trained in how to appropriately deal with children. No male teachers should accompany a child to the washroom. Female staff can, but they do not go into the stall. If the child needs help the door is left open. All delicate topics are discussed - such as hugs, hand holding, sitting on laps, and being alone with a child. This is for everyone’s protection.
Teachers should commit to a Sept / Jan or Feb / Jun period and then take a break. Volunteers should be rotated so each one has every second week off, so that they can attend regular church. There should be only two training sessions per year, but everyone is expected to attend.
Parents must sign their children in. There should be three number stickers: one for diaper bag, one for sign in sheet, and one for the parent. If a child needs a parent, the nursery worker will have the sound people flash the number on the power point at the front of the worship center.
There should be weekly use of Bibles and weekly Home Readings. Leaders should lead the children in prayer. If parents are teaching the discipline of tithing in the home, and they bring this to church, it will be put to good use in service projects helping other children in other places and countries.
Children should begin with their parents in the main worship center. This allows them to enjoy corporate worship, offering, witness baptisms, baby dedications, and special announcements.
Children should spend the first 15/20 minutes in the main worship center with parents or shepherds, and then leave for a large group time before breaking into smaller groups. Group time is for attendance, welcome visitors, tithing, memory verse review and one large group activity. They should do something fun and then break into smaller groups where there is lesson time, crafts and prayer.
Children should participate in family communion 3 times per year. Communion should be done in the first part of the service and children should sit with parents and with parental discretion participate. If children come to church on their own, they only participate with their leaders after their non-church going parents are informed.
Run a moms and babies group for moms to get to know one another. Provide babysitting for their time together.
Every week each child is expected to bring their bible and use them - even non-readers.
During weekly verse readings, each child should get a star for completion
Our children’s leaders should lead in prayer for illness, missionaries and even the groups’ own prayer requests (at the permission of the parents)
If Sunday school is moved from Sunday morning to Thursday night, you may be able to attract more un-churched kids. It should be an activity-based program using different means to teach a Bible Truth. This approach makes good use of minimal staff. Focus on doing one-thing really well rather then two weaker events.
Consider an after school club for children in grades 3-7. This can focus on: homework time, games, snacks or a large group time from 3 to 5PM. This could draw in non-churched kids from local elementary schools.
Summer ministry interns can be subsidized through a government grant program. Consider summer programs midweek to weeklong VBS programs, sport camp day trips, and overnight camp for older kids.
Provide each child with a Sunday school bag with their name on it to make it easier to transport papers and crafts to and from church. For two and three year olds, they can put their own sticker on the attendance chart and do a craft each week that ties into the lesson.