The preschool years are tough on parents — it’s a time when kids are questioning everything, forming their own opinions, and strengthening their willpower. And while it can sometimes leave parents wishing for the season to be over, it’s also a time of great discovery and a wonderful opportunity to teach kids the true character of God.
On episode 25 of the Think Orange Podcast, our guests, Brittany Compton-Robertson, Director of Preschool Strategy at Orange, and Cass Brannan, minister to preschool at Calvary Baptist Church, talk about the important role your church’s preschool ministry plays in laying the foundation of a big faith in God.
Ashley introduces today’s guests, Brittany Compton Robertson, Director of Preschool Strategy at Orange, who has more than a decade of experience working with preschoolers, and Cass Brannan, minister to preschool at Calvary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (2:03)
Ashley shares how the preschool ministry team at churches are often the unsung heroes of the church (3:03)
The biggest age group in a church are parents with young kids (3:21)
Cass says sometimes we have to step back and evaluate everything we have to do on our lists and make a strategic plan for those action items (4:51)
It’s important to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses in ministry (5:36)
When we focus on our weakness, we forget what we’re good at (6:10)
Your lack of skill does not eliminate your responsibility, so it’s important to invite people into our circle to help (7:11)
Know what you’re good at and find people to fill in the gaps (8:04)
Cass talks about his start in preschool ministry 11 years ago (8:25)
You’re either a people person or a production person (9:10)
One of the most important things you can do is support the family and help them win at home (10:00)
It’s really important you build a place of trust, otherwise, parents won’t leave their children with you (12:21)
Cass shares a story about a family with twin girls. One of the girls had a feeding tube and was wheelchair-bound. Their mother trusted them with her daughter’s’ care (13:05)
Orange is about a partnership between the church and the home (14:10)
Dave introduces Brittany (16:44)
What Brittany loves about preschoolers (17:35)
The preschool ministry is the most important ministry of the church — it’s their first gateway into the church. You are laying the foundation of what church is (17:47)
As a preschool person, you have to be comfortable getting messy, having fun, and getting down on their level (18:50)
Brittany discusses the importance of consistency (20:14)
If parents wait later in life to take their kids to church, they miss out on those key years that teach kids that God loves them (21:25)
People who aren’t necessarily the type to get down on the kids’ level would be better served in the resource room (22:00)
Brittany talks about the importance of recruiting consistent volunteers (23:13)
Morals and values are in place for every child by age nine (24:10)
Brittany shares advice on how to navigate the difficult preschool years (24:42)
Dave discusses the importance of thinking with the end in mind (26:40)
How would a preschool ministry leader get their leadership to value the preschool ministry more? (27:18)
Brittany shares what she would say to encourage a preschool ministry leader (28:05)
Brittany talks about how she would encourage a preschool ministry leader to partner with parents (28:18)
How to talk to someone who thinks preschool ministry is just babysitting (29:33)
Brittany shares best practices in a preschool ministry (30:22)
How young should a student be to volunteer with preschoolers? (32:30)
How much alignment does the preschool ministry have to have with elementary and high school ministries? (33:20)
What are the biggest stumbling blocks in preschool ministry? (33:51)
How to combat the loneliness one can experience in preschool ministry (35:44)
How Brittany got started in preschool ministry (37:05)
Dave shares how he didn’t realize the impact his kids’ preschool ministry leaders had on their lives until they were older (39:05)
Ashley shares her personal experience with a preschooler (40:25)
Dave gives closing remarks (41:38)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Brittany Compton-Robertson is the Director of Preschool Strategy at Orange and lives outside of Atlanta with her amazing husband, Jimmy. She loves traveling, kids, and spending time with great friends and family! She lead a multi-site kids ministry in Michigan for eleven years and now feels so blessed to part of such an incredible and talented team!
Cass is the Preschool Minister at Calvary Baptist Church. He loves investing in and helping lay the foundation in kids lives. He also loves partnering with the parents as they go through the journey of parenting. Cass is married to Mary Beth and they have five amazing boys: Caden, Calder, Bates, Briggs, and Baylor. They add so much joy and excitement to our family and there is never a dull moment in the Brannan house.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
Remember preschool ministry is not babysitting.
During this age range is the first time a kid truly grasps the concept of God’s love. Take this time period seriously.
Partner with parents.
Building trust is the first order of business in preschool ministry. Offer consistency to parents and encourage them with positive affirmations.
Know your weaknesses and ask others for help.
Preschool ministry needs all kinds of people to ensure its success. If there’s an area where you tend to struggle, ask someone to fill that role while you focus on what you’re good at.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
How can our ministry better partner with parents this week?
In what ways can we better align our preschool ministry with the elementary and high school ministries?
How can we recruit more consistent volunteers in our preschool ministry?
When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.
Ashley serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the USA Director of Carry 117. She has worked with students in public education, athletic and ministry settings for the last 12 years. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating on stage, developing leaders, working with students and world missions. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.
Join Us Next Week
Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.