How do you attract kids to your children’s ministry program and keep them coming back? How do you build the excitement enough that they beg mom and dad to bring them to church week after week? Wouldn’t that be a dream fulfilled, music to every worker’s ears? “Mom, I don’t want to go to T-Ball practice! Puhhh-lease, can I go to youth group tonight instead?” How do you make it happen?
Is it by creating an engaging environment? Sounds exciting but not lasting. And we really don't want our program built on externals, do we? Is there something more?
What about exciting programming with the latest multi-media power points and sound bytes? Sounds appealing but you’ll need to always keep them pumped with the latest and greatest technology to keep up with the competition. Can you afford it?
Riveting dramatic bible stories? We’re getting there but I’m feeling rather exhausted by all the hype.
The best way to attract your kids to Jesus is simple, inexpensive, adaptable to any size program – and biblical . It’s found in Mark 12:30,31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heat and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.”
It’s that simple. Love Jesus. Let your students see that you love Jesus.
And love the children. Just love your children.
Show personal interest in each child. Be free with the one-arm hugs. Ask them about their lives, their families, their dogs. Pray for them and let them know you are praying for them. As far as specifics, before each session, ask the Lord, “How can I love my children today? Show me, Lord, who needs your love and how I can show it."
Find ways to help your children’s ministry team love each other. Encourage them to show love toward each other. You can express love by vocally encouraging your fellow workers, letting mishaps and misunderstanding go, praying for each other and caring for each other inside and outside the classroom. You think the kids don't notice when worker relationships are strained. Wrong! They do.
Help the children learn to love each other. Remind them that church is like a second family, that you take care of each other, show interest in each other and stand up for each other. Create opportunities for them to learn how to love each other and love those outside your classroom. Instead of competitive games, plan cooperative games. Plan service projects and mission collections such as gathering spare change for your local Pregnancy Support Center.
In a society that is self focused and self indulgent, our children are longing to be included and accepted. Your genuine compassion and kindness will stand out as different from the way they are treated in the other segments of their lives. The song really is true. “They will know we are Christians by our love.”