What happens between Sundays is more important than what happens on a Sunday. What happens around the dinner table is more important than what happens in the classroom. What happens on a car ride is more important than what happens in a sanctuary. What happens at home is more important than what happens at church. Mom and Dad are more influential than any church program.
Remember the safety demonstration on airplanes? “In the unlikely event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting children.”
There’s a deep truth in that advice with applications for children’s ministry. You cannot help others, unless you take care of yourself first. You cannot serve your students in the best way possible, unless you put on your own oxygen mask first. Taking care of your own basic needs is not selfish; it enables you to give selflessly to others. You can't give what you don't have.
Let’s see how the oxygen mask principle plays out in the context of children’s ministry.
September brings fresh opportunities to serve the children of your church and energize their faith.
However, if you want to succeed in this sacred task, your focus shouldn't be on the children but on your volunteers.
They are the secret to a thriving ministry.
Here's my collection of Tips, Tricks, and Tools to help you take a good care of your volunteer force.
The season of crazy is upon us. As life picks up the pace and calendars get full, and demands on time and energy increase, many families will find themselves in an unending cycle of being...stressed... stretched...rushed...tired
...overwhelmed... over-committed...pulled apart...burnt out. No wonder church attendance becomes sporadic in spring.
At this time, it can be so tempting to offer "bait," a big event of some sort that will lure over-scheduled children into our church building. But we need to ask ourselves: Is this really the best thing for our families at this time?
All children are familiar with fear.
... Fear of failure
... Fear of the unknown
… Fear of the dark
... Fear of risk
... Fear of not being good enough
The list could go on and on, and on.
Fear blocks their view of God’s greatness, and draws all their attention toward the challenge they are facing.
Fear robs them of joy and peace making them feel utterly powerless.
One of the most important things you can do?
Teach children how to be brave.
We've created the 5-week Fear Busters series in response to many parents in our church telling us about anxiety and fears controlling their children's thoughts and emotions.
Each lesson includes a short Bible video and is supported by engaging, hands-on activities that give children practical tools to stomp out their fears.
We've tested this series on our kids, and have seen great things come out of it.
... Honest conversations
... Heartfelt prayers
... Confident lives
... Life-giving accountability
This series could be a great follow-up to the Easter lesson. It's also perfect as a special summer series.
You know the old adage about giving our children roots and wings?
That's the whole focus of the Fear Busters series.
Unconditional love is the roots.
Courage is the wings.
Children who have both live bigger lives.
Check out the series description for the five powerful keys to help you train children who don't live in fear.
KEY #1: Fear ends where faith begins.
// David and Goliath
KEY #2: Be brave. Take risks. Trust God.
KEY #3: When the waves come, keep your eyes on Jesus.
// Peter Walks on the Water
KEY #4: Even when we fail Him, God still loves us.
// Peter Denies Jesus
KEY #5: The Holy Spirit gives us boldness.
// Peter Defends Jesus
Each lesson includes:
High quality Bible video
Hands-on, interactive activities (enough to fill 2 hours)
Music videos to support the series
Most parents and churches dread to talk to kids about … money. But our silence will cost us in the long run. Whether they like it or not, our children will have a life-long relationship with money. If we don't train them to love God, to work hard, to make money, to master money, and to use money for the glory of God and the good of people, we'll have a generation of Christians drowning in debt and consumerism, unable to make any profound difference in their world.