Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Building a Team

One of the easiest pitfalls in Children's Ministry is trying to do everything yourself.  Let's face it, you know what you're thinking and sometimes it can be tough to make others see what you are seeing in your own mind. But, trying to do everything is a recipe for disaster.  If you really want to have an effective Children's Ministry, you need a team.

In my church, we have a Children's Ministry Council and I don't know what I would do without them.  They are an invaluable resource.  If you don't have a similar team, I highly suggest you build one.  But, in order for your council, or team, to be effective, you need the right people on your team.

1) A huge part of what your council can give you is history.  More than likely, you are the "new kid" at your church.  Whether you have been there a few months or a few years, you are still the "newbie" compared to those who grew up in that church.  So, connect with their memories to help guide you in new ideas.  What worked well in the past?  Why did it work?  What was a huge flop?  What made it fail?  These are things that you simply can not know unless you were there.  So tap into those resources and when building your team, make sure there is at least one person on it who has that historical knowledge. 

2) Bring in someone from all the areas of your ministry.  For me, I have representation for Nursery, Preschool, Sunday School teachers, and Volunteers.  Your church might include Bus Ministry, Special Needs, Aftercare, or a myriad of other ministries.  Just make sure each one is represented so that you do not accidentally leave any area out when you do your planning.

3) If you can, include someone who is especially creative.  At one church, there was a young lady in the congregation who was incredibly artistic.  She did not generally work in the Children's Department, but she was on my council because she gave us much needed input when we were trying to design themes or sets.

4) Involve at least one parent in your Council.  When you are planning events, it can be easy to get caught up in what is going on at the church, but it is important to know what is going on in the life of the families as well.  A parent can give you feedback about upcoming school events that might conflict or, and perhaps this is most important, help you to reign in your plans if you are trying to plan too much.  You want to provide ample opportunities for your families, but you don't want to overwhelm them.

It is important to note that these council members can overlap in what they represent.  For example, on my current council, I have 6 people plus myself, and they represent all the areas I mentioned above because they are involved in more than one area.  At least three grew up in the church, all volunteer in various services, one teaches Sunday School, one teaches Preschool, and two are parents.  The council doesn't have to be large to cover all the bases.

Once you have your council, use them.  Don't make big decisions on your own unless it is absolutely necessary.  I bring to my council all the activities for the upcoming year and we plan them together.  They look at various VBS options and we choose together.  The same goes for Christmas programs, or any big outreach event.  If more than half my council is against an idea, we set it aside.  We work as a team, and though, I am the leader, I never want to be seen as the Lone Ranger.  After all, it is not MY Children's Department.  It is OURS and it should be treated as such.

Build yourself a team that you can depend on and then watch how your ministry grows. 

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