If your ministry doesn't line up with Big Church, you're
going to hit some big potholes along the way...
Do you feel as though your church is going in a direction that
interferes with your children's ministry goals? Perhaps it's your
ministry that's actually out of alignment.
Are you willing to do what it takes to correct these issues?
This five-point diagnostic guide will help you keep your ministry
pointed in the right direction.
1. Check for Mission Drift
Your children's ministry's mission needs to complement your
church's mission. A mission statement explains "why" your
congregation decided to do church together.
Set your ministry's mission statement next to your church's
mission statement. Look at the wording of your church's mission
statement. Is your mission statement worded in a way that would
help a prospective volunteer understand that your ministry exists
to support what your church at large is about?
To ensure that your mission statement is closely aligned with
your church's, consider borrowing usable words and phrases from
your church's mission statement. If your church calls a disciple, a
"fully devoted follower of Christ," then write about wanting to
"grow children into fully devoted followers of Christ" or
"equipping parents to raise fully devoted followers of Christ."
If your church doesn't have a mission statement, show your
children's ministry mission statement to your senior pastor for
review. Let your pastor know that you want to create a children's
ministry that supports the efforts of the Big Church. Follow up by
asking if the mission statement needs the approval of any governing
bodies before you unroll it to all your volunteers.
If your church has a mission statement and your ministry
doesn't, then form one with your team that supports the efforts of
the whole church. As you train your volunteers in your mission
statement, highlight how your ministry's mission contributes to
your church's aims. Your volunteers will be energized when they
realize they're joining a movement much bigger than themselves.
2. Diagnose Common Core Values
Core values describe how a ministry goes about its business. For
example, a church with a core value of "creativity" will emphasize
programs such as drama and music in its worship service. An
enforced core value of "excellence" should result in staff and
volunteers who crisply execute their roles.
Approach your senior leadership to see what core values your
church has adopted. Take these core values to your children's
ministry team and discuss what your ministry would look like if
these values were the
most important qualities that your ministry pursued. Evaluate
what types of training you'd need to equip your team to embody
If your church hasn't developed an articulate set of core
values, don't fret! Your church does have core values; it just
hasn't identified them yet. To find your church's core values,
interview a large segment of your congregation with these two
questions: "What attracted you to our church?" and "Why do you keep
coming back?" You'll quickly identify four or five qualities that
define your congregation. Your job is to make sure these qualities
define your ministry as well.
Don't be afraid to have a few extra core values that define how
your children's ministry should be done. Children's ministry
generally pays more attention to educational and developmental
concerns in children.