Tiffany Mills is Kid City Director at New City Church in Shawnee, Kansas. She has a passion for families and mission. I asked her to GUEST POST on Mission Glue because of her unique perspective. She is a strong advocate for church planting and equally committed to helping us disciple our kids.
One of my favorite quotes is from Craig Groeschel is:
“We often overestimate what we can do in the short-term, but grossly underestimate what God can do with a lifetime of devoted service to Him.”
Planting a church that has a strategy for reaching un-churched families and teaching the adults AND children to trust in and live like Jesus is our best opportunity to create lifelong followers of Jesus.
When we launched 18 months ago I had no idea how to create an effective kids ministry. We had a lot of support from other churches and I had a lot of past church experience to draw on, but in hindsight, I recognize some things that we did that really helped our church launch with a heart for kids.
Here are 5 things about kids I’d recommend planters keep in mind:
Launch with a plan for Kids. From your first pre-launch gathering, plan to make it easy for people to participate by providing a safe environment for their kids. For us that meant paying for childcare workers and providing a space where the kids could play and hang while the meeting was going. (Fruit snacks and juice boxes are essential) Also, cast vision for your launch team that reaching and training kids is going to be an essential part of your church plant. Ask your best leaders to consider using their gifts in your kids ministry. If the top leadership views kids as a priority, everyone will.
Plan for Diversity. Many of the families at New City are single parent households which means we must provide childcare for almost every event we want people to participate in. This can often add $100-200 from the budget but it is worth it to allow people the opportunity to go on mission with us.
Research and Identify Curriculum to Meet Your needs. I’ve heard of many church plants that plan to write their own children’s curriculum or don’t plan for curriculum at all. I think this is a bad idea. There are so many quality curriculums available that it is easy to find one that will meet your needs. I truly believe that any time I spend creating curriculum or programming takes away from the time I have for the true ministry of building relationships and investing in families. Also look for a curriculum that can grow with you. We went from 20-100 kids in 6 months and our curriculum was easily scalable so we could multiply our programming with minimal effort. (we have found www.whatisorange.org to be great)
Provide Ongoing Discipleship and Training for Leaders. I think kid’s ministry is the BEST place to grow a Jesus follower and leader. Children’s classrooms are an awesome place for new followers to learn the basics of the faith. I have had leaders decide to fully commit to following Jesus for the first time through their service in Kid City. I have also had many leaders go on to lead in bigger roles in the church, at their workplace, and in the kingdom using the leadership principles that they learned in Kid City.
Make it Fun. My favorite thing to hear from a parent is “my kid begs me to come to church every week” Your program doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you create an environment where kids know that they have been planned for and they know people care about them, they will want to come. I get so excited thinking about a whole generation of Jesus followers being launched from our church plants, and I know that a lifetime disciple will have a HUGE impact for the kingdom.
Tiffany blogs at Crisis of Mission.
If you are a children’s leader in a church plant and have something unique to share with us, please contact me. I’d love to talk to you.
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