This Is Your Most Important Ministry As A Youth Minister

I’ve been stepping in and helping out in the children’s programming while our Director of Children’s Ministry on maternity leave.  Yesterday I coordinated first Reconciliation for the 7 and 8 year olds, which seemed a little like controlled chaos (but not like the kind you find in middle school).  I use to find it an inconvenience working with the children’s ministry, because of the “I’m too cool for school” attitude that I might have inherited from working with teens, but I’m learning the more I work with our Children’s Director the more I’m find it helps:

  1. Build Early Relationships With Parents 
  2. Give Kids Something To Get Excited About

And that’s done by:
Uniting Your Visions
You don’t have to come up with one new vision to encompass both programs, each should have their own, but they need to unite.

  • Children’s vision is designed to raise up children who Live. Pray and Grow in Christ.  
  • Student’s vision is raising up consistent, authentic and irresistible examples of Jesus Christ.  

The common theme in both visions is habit development.  When you unite your visions with a common theme it gives parents a path that doesn’t have drastic transitions.  Having your child go into preteens, to full blow teens into adulthood can be tough.  It also helps the children see where they are going, sometimes the intimidation of growing up can be tough, by showing them the next step eases the tension.

Bringing Ministry Leaders Together
Just as it’s important for you to work well with the children’s minister it’s important that your volunteer ministers work well together.  Do this by bringing them together to discuss systems, structures and to share ideas.  When you have them communicating, they become informed about each other’s programs.  Now that the children’s ministers know more about your program they’ll be advocates and they’ll get the kids and parents pumped for what’s next.

Making Cameos In The Children’s Programs
Nothing shows support like making a visit to another person’s ministry, it shows them that you are interested in what they are doing.  But isn’t just about the children’s minister it’s also about the kids.  If they see you and get to know you, it creates comfort in their journey.  If they get more familiar with you, that guarantees that they’ll know at least one person when they make the transition into the youth ministry.

Your most important ministry as a youth minister is the children’s ministry.  They are your foundation, they are the students you will receive in the future.  If you aren’t investing in the children’s ministry then you aren’t investing in the youth ministry.  But again it’s easier said than done, we need to be working on the relationships we have with our fellow staff members.

What are you doing as youth ministers to work better with the children’s ministry?
And
What do you do to invest in the kids in the children’s ministry? 

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  • lscata says:

    Great post! In order to have a successful family ministry, and ultimately the most leverage when it comes to building a child’s relationship with Christ, it is imperative that the Student and Children’s ministries work together. Strength is built through uniting visions and focusing on habit development. Everything above is right on!

    In terms of making cameo appearances, as important as it is for Student Ministers to make appearances in Children’s Ministry, it is also important for Children’s Ministers to show up in student programs to get to know the teens/tweens. Teenagers reach kids on a special level, different from any other population in the church, because they were JUST kids, themselves. Think about how excited kids are when a favorite babysitter shows up, or when they receive positive attention from an older neighbor or cousin… The same works in ministry! Kids look up to teens (and adults), and their relationship with Christ. When Children’s Ministers invest in relationships with students, more common ground is established within the church/ministry, and it is more likely that students will desire to serve in Children’s Ministry, as well. It’s kind of a domino affect – adults connect with students, students connect with kids, and everyone grows as a result. (Disclaimer: Adults can obviously connect effectively with kids, too! However, with proper training, there is great value in getting students involved in Children’s Ministry.)

    As a Children’s Minister, I am admittedly weak in this area, often getting caught up in the small details and not always paying attention to the “global” picture of what is needed for growth. Entering into a new season of growth/change, it is definitely a goal of mine to make more cameo appearances in Student programs! Anyone else?

  • Thanks Lisa we look forward to seeing you around the student programs. Not only is it important for you to make cameos in the way you listed but when Children’s ministers show up to the teen programs it means a lot to the teens who serve in Kid’s ministry with you, because it’s their “boss” investing in them more.