People are busy! It is hard enough to get people to volunteer, so how can we ask them to serve every week? Weekends are busy with family commitments, or time to relax and sleep in. Volunteering weekly will be the most rewarding for volunteers but how can we get them to understand that?
Have you read The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams? This book has moved into the position of “Top 5 Must Have” books for Kids Ministry. It is LOADED with information.
My friend Dale Hudson is the author of this amazing book. This guy has tons of Kids Ministry Experience and really knows his stuff when it comes to kids, volunteers, recruiting, training and motivating. His blog is loaded with resources and ideas on many different kids ministry related topics. He has a humble spirit and an amazing servant’s heart. I have visited the church many times where he was on staff as the Kids Ministry Director and my kids loved being in the kids program there. He is an international conference speaker and trainer, and I have learned so much from this guy and his experience. He is the author of several kids ministry books, and his most recent, The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams is one of my favourites.
On a recent visit to Woodstock City Church in Atlanta, I was able to get a behind the scenes tour of their room for kids with special needs. The staff person in the room was super helpful and explained how their program works. Here are some pics from my visit to their campus.
Small Group Bins – an inside look at the bins that Woodstock City Church uses for their Elementary KidsAugust 22, 2017
On a recent visit to Woodstock City Church in Atlanta, I studied what they use for Small Groups. These bins can be found at IKEA, but at the time of this post, they are also available at Michaels.
On a recent visit to Woodstock City Church, I noticed their signs. There were 2 things that I noticed. I noticed what signs they had displayed, and what signs they didn’t have displayed.
I was so impressed to see what Woodstock City Church does to celebrate birthdays for kids. The kids look forward to their Birthday all year long so that they can visit the Birthday Cart. The Birthday Cart is pretty exciting, but it doesn’t compare to the PERSON who is at the Birthday Cart. I did not find out this person’s name, but he was amazing as he celebrated each child and their birthday.
Recently I went to the Drive Conference at Northpoint Church in Atlanta, GA. It was like drinking from a firehose. I learned so much and took so many pitures. I decided to share my info with all of you in hopes that you can learn from them just like I did.
Before the conference began, I had the opportunity to tour Woodstock City Church, and spend a lot of time behind the scenes. Woodstock City Church is one of Northpoint Church’s campuses. They use the same curriculum, systems and processes. Their staff and volunteers were absolutely incredible. Over the next few posts I will share with you all kinds of things that I learned and show you pictures of some of the things that they do to make their kids ministry awesome! Today I’m going to show you some of the pics from the Preschool Area, aka, Waumba Land.
We are just getting ready to launch a new campus. We have a smaller space available for our kids ministry rooms, but we still wanted to make it fun and kid friendly. So, we decided to make a photo wall down our kids hallway. The idea can from a photo I saw on worshipfacilities.com . Here’s what we did to make it.
When people sign up to volunteer in our Kids Rooms, we want to equip them with all the info they need to get started, and do their job well. It can be a little overwhelming for a new volunteer to try to remember everything, so we created some booklets for each room that give them the basics to get started.
I finally finished a project that I have been working on for a few weeks. I wanted to create a way for kids and parents to say thank you to the volunteers who help on Sunday mornings. I created a DIY Mailbox, where kids can mail a thank you card. We set up tables in an open area where parents and kids could work on making a card together. Then, once they finished making their card, they could mail it in the mailbox. At the end of the month, we will distribute all the thank you cards to the volunteers. I printed off a list of all the volunteers for each room, so parents could find the names of the volunteers if they need them. If you want to create your own DIY Mailbox, this is how you can do it:
Recently we hosted a Princess Party at our church. We had over 800 people attend the event. 60% of people were not regular church attenders. We received a lot of positive feedback after the event about how much people enjoyed coming to the event. Here are some of the things we included at the Princess Party:
Sometimes the number of things that need to be done in Kids Ministry can be overwhelming. How do you balance the urgent things with things that should be a priority? So many times the urgent can take a lot of our time, but they are not necessarily things that are a priority. A Kids Ministry To Do List might be just the thing you are looking for. It’s not just any to do list. It’s specifically designed with things in mind that are important for a Kids Ministry Leader.
Finding new songs for kids worship can be challenging. We don’t have a team dedicated to leading worship in our kids ministry so we like using Kids Worship Videos. I was looking for some new Kids Worship Videos and came across some new videos by Summit Creative Company. They are available on WorshipHouseKids.com. There are several things I like about these videos:
One of the biggest challenges that Kids Ministry Leaders face is Finding and Keeping Volunteers. I have taught several workshops/classes on how to find & keep volunteers. This post includes a free PowerPoint Presentation that I used at a recent event. It includes ideas on how to recruit, and who to ask. It gives ideas on how to run a recruiting event and how to keep volunteers long term by helping them find the right fit.
Sometimes I like to show my volunteers a video clip to illustrate a point. Despicable Me is a great movie that shows an example of Gru doing a not so great job as a dad, and then later, a much better job as a dad. This illustration can be used when it comes to volunteers in Kids Ministry. These two Despicable Me video clips illustrate how volunteers can own their role instead of rent it.
When I think of volunteers, this is the picture that I have in my head. Volunteers are in different stages. Some are new, or come occasionally while others are the committed people that do the majority of the work. As I look at these circles, here are some thoughts on how to find kids ministry leaders:
Four times a year we do an event that is meant for families to do something together.
Gingerbread Party – to kick off the Christmas Season
Princess Party – in the winter
Family BBQ – during our EPIC kids summer camp week
LEGO Party – in the spring
Here are some pictures of our LEGO Party and what we did:
When I was visiting The Grove Community Church in Riverside, California, I saw a system that they used to help motivate kids to listen & participate. They used ping pong balls to give to the kids when they brought their Bible, or a friend, etc. At the end of the service, the kids could put the ping pong balls that they earned into their display box. The group who filled their box first was rewarded with a pizza party. I liked that the reward system was visual for the kids, and they worked together to achieve a goal.
On a recent trip to California, I went to visit Sandals Church. This amazing group of people showed us around their building & shared their stories of what they are doing to see people come to know Jesus. Here are a few things that I learned from our visit with them.
1. Their average weekend attendance is 5799 people and in 2014 they had 3890 first time attenders. They run 7 services at 2 locations each weekend.
2. Their kids and youth area were themed in a way that was appropriate for each age group, yet it all tied into the look of the whole building.
3. They have some creative people on their kids staff who write their own songs & make videos for their kids worship. It was fantastic! (Shout out to Andrew & thank you for giving me a jump drive of your videos at CPC. You rock!)
4. They had bulletin board for their volunteers where they communicated “stuff” with their volunteers.
5. Kids got a button on their birthday (just like at Disney!).
This past weekend, we had the Grand Opening of our new church building which has been under construction for over a year. We built a new kids area, renovated our office space, and built a 2nd auditorium that seats 300 people.
Having a Grand Opening creates an opportunity to invite people to come and see your facility & experience a little bit of what your church is like. Here is what we did for our Grand Opening.
Saturday Open House: (drop in format & people could stay as long or a little as they liked)
Kids Entertainment. We had 7 activities or shows happening at various times throughout the kids area which included:
- Birds Of Prey Show – a Raptor Conservatory that brought live birds for everyone to see
- Kids Music Entertainer – did 2 interactive shows for families
- Disney Princesses – 6 teens/adults dressed in costume and looked a lot like the Disney Princesses that you would see at a Disney Theme Park. Families could meet & greet & take photos with the princesses.
- Indoor Playground – our newly installed playground was open for families
- Craft Room – tables, chairs, supplies & craft examples for families to make together
- Balloon Animals – volunteers made balloon animals/shapes for kids
- Interactive Electronic Puppet – a software program we purchased from Little Mountain Productions.
Food – Several areas throughout the church had food stations for people to pick up a snack.
Decorations – We ordered punch balloons that had our logo on it. We started a few days before grand opening to blow up all the balloons. We used a tree stump as a base, and then attached a pole to the base. We put the punch balloon elastics over the poles to create balloon pillars.
Give Aways – Kids could take a punch balloon home with them on their way out.
Other Entertainment – The youth band, and a drum circle did several shows in other parts of the building.
Ministry Displays – Many of our ministries made a display for people to see. This helped give people an idea of some of the programs that are offered at our church.
Sunday Dedication Service – We had a service to dedicate the building. We invited the trades who worked on the project as well as dignitaries from our area. We also included a ribbon cutting in the service.