by Anne Clay
When you combine great curriculum with committed leaders, you have a powerful combination: the “What” and “Who” of every successful ministry. Here are some things we’ve learned and are putting into practice at our church.
Great Curriculum . . . The “What”
It’s important to use the curriculum correctly. You will need to make adjustments as your church grows and adds services.
- Orange does a great job keeping things current and user friendly. Watch for new resources and check out the training tab on the curriculum website.
- Select what fits best for the way your age groups are structured.
- Provide the supplies needed and equip leaders to use them. If you notice supplies are not being used, talk to your leaders. Work together to make their groups successful.
- Use the monthly supply list included in the curriculum matrix. It’s a great way to figure out what supplies you’ll need for the month. If you plan ahead, you have time to place orders online and shop for bargains.
- Give leaders permission to decide what works best for their groups, using the resources you provide. Their job is to connect with kids and help them apply God’s Word to their lives. It takes time to do this well. A simple activity can lead to some great discussions. The activities are most effective when leaders are focused on the kids instead of the clock.
- Encourage kids to bring their Bibles and leaders to use them, even if it takes extra time to help kids find the verses.
Does your church have more than one service?
- Stretch the curriculum by selecting one activity for “first service” and another for “second service.” Then both hours can do the rest of the activities, as time allows.
- Don’t rewrite the curriculum or switch age groups. There’s plenty to choose from and it’s most effective when used with the age groups it was designed for.
- Consider providing a separate environment for kids that attend more than one service. Support the Bible story and Bottom Line but in a more relaxed setting with extra time for discussion and interaction. This is a great place to use the Get Reel and Feature Presentation videos, if you’re not already using both of them.
Don’t do it alone!
- When was the last time you talked to your Orange Specialist? They are just an email or phone call away to answer questions and provide insights, ideas and solutions.
- Connect with other leaders. The Lead Small Weekly Facebook group is a great place to join a discussion, post a question or just find out what other churches are doing.
- Do you know about Go Weekly? Everyone on our team receives a to do list every Monday. There are also exclusive resources that help us be more effective at equipping and encouraging our leaders.
Leaders . . . “The Who”
Committed leaders are the most important part of any successful kids ministry. You won’t accomplish excellence with anything less. It takes committed people who will step up and own the ministry with you.
- Consistency counts. Leaders who serve every week are naturally more connected to the kids.
- Define success as what happens in small groups and then find the people who will make it happen This is how we define it: Success is when kids have meaningful interactions in their small groups that influence their faith in Jesus and deepens their relationships with others.
- Look for “owners” not “renters” (Have you read Not Normal by Adam Duckworth and Sue Miller?) Go after the very best leaders in your church and invite them to observe and pray before you ask for a commitment.
- Share the vision and invite people to get involved rather than sharing a need and asking people to fill it.
- If your church has one service, enlist partners or teams who will work together to lead the same group of kids. Some churches invite their kids’ leaders to a special pre-service rehearsal so they don’t completely miss church the weeks they serve.
- Avoid “scheduling” volunteers. Kids ministry is much too important to relegate to a weekly schedule.
Leading in ministry deserves our best efforts. Having a great curriculum and committed leaders is a great place to start.