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.
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.
When I was visiting The Grove Community Church in Riverside, California, I saw a kids church reward system that they used to help motivate kids to listen & participate. They also used this system to encourage families to work on the family activity page together, and to return it the following week.
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 Sandals Church Tour.
I love to visit other churches and see what their spaces look like. Scroll through the pics above of the Saddleback Youth Area at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.
I am enjoying being in sunny, warm California in the middle of February. I am attending the Children’s Pastor’s Conference in Ontario, California. While I am here, I am taking the opportunity to visit churches in the area, and learn from their staff & volunteer teams in Children’s Ministry. Here are some pictures of the Saddleback kids area at the main campus of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. Their staff were more than friendly and very willing to share their ideas and information with us.
I have been on a journey since I started working at my church 2.5 years ago. We have be in a building project and part of that project has included a new kids area. It’s been exciting to dream, research & design a new kids area. It has taken many meetings & emails to cover a zillion details. The most difficult part of this journey has been the last few months as the kids rooms have started to take shape. Sorting, packing & moving an entire kids ministry is a huge job. Transition of any kind is not usually easy for people, so helping hundreds of families make this transition has also been a process. Volunteers have worked countless hours far above and beyond what they signed up for so that the BIG MOVE could get done.
Crossroads church in Cincinnati, does a great job of communicating to parents what the lesson was about in the kids program. At the door of each room they have door signs that they change each week. They list 2 questions that parents can ask their child to start a discussion about that day’s lesson. I loved that it was simple, visual, and user friendly!
Food Allergies are common in children. Kids Ministry should be a place where kids are safe & details such as food allergies are important. When I was at Crossroads Church they told me about their system when it comes to Food Allergies.
Does your church have a clear plan for emergencies? Crossroads Church does. In fact, it’s so clear, that they have a Safety Manual displayed in each Kids Room. Each Manual is custom made with instructions for that specific room. The staff was kind enough to give me permission to share their Safety Manual on my blog with pictures for everyone to see. Hopefully it will inspire you to make a plan for emergencies that is clear for your volunteers.
Keeping vision in front of volunteers is one of the most important things you will do as a Kids Ministry Leader. Reminding people over and over of why they do what they do. On my most recent trip to Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, I was reminded of something that they do to keep the vision in front of their volunteers. Many of their kids ministry rooms have a picture wall. The pictures are specific to the ministry that happens in that room.
I am getting ready to go on a church tour. I am taking some of my key leaders from my Kids Ministry with me. We will drive for about 8 hours one direction, do a little shopping in the US (something Canadians get quite excited about), and spend time attending various classes & services at the church we will be visiting. We’ll spend time together in the vehicles and get to know each other in the process. We will ask a million questions to our gracious hosts (aka Kids Ministry Staff & Volunteers) . We will come home with our brains ready to explode from all that we saw, heard & experienced.
The Student Center at Northview Church in Carmel, Indiana was amazing! They had a separate building for their student ministries. This area was done in a surfing theme and it looked really great! Scroll through the photos above to see what we saw on our church tour at Northview.
On the walls before you enter one of the Elementary Classes at Willow Creek Church you will find room signs that communicate information about that room. They describe each element of their program, and info that the parents might want to know before their child enters the room. They outline the expectations of kids and provides an opportunity for parents to chat with their children about the expectations before they enter the room.
I have been to Willow Creek Church many times and each time I go I see something new. During my last visit, I saw this prayer wall in one of the kids rooms. I thought it was a great visual for kids to see their prayers represented on the different colored papers. They took time in their small groups to think of something to pray for, write it down, and put their paper on the wall.
On one of my trips to Orlando, I was able to visit Calvary Church. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into their elementary kids room and saw this creative stage! Here are some of the things I loved about this stage:
I was the kids pastor at Calvary Assembly in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada for almost 12 years before I moved to my current position at Creekside Church in Waterloo, Ontario. I researched & visited Kids Spaces across Canada and the US for several years before building this Kids Ministry Space. It was the first church in Canada to have 3 levels of Themed Environment Space. Bruce Barry from Wacky World Studios designed and installed the kids area. I met him at a Conference in Chicago, and several weeks later Bruce came to visit us in Canada. A year later, our space was completed and transformed into an amazing space for kids! I thought I would share with you some pics from the church tour in Cambridge.
One of the first church tours I ever went to was at Granger Community Church in Granger, IN. Their creativity and innovation was like nothing I had ever seen before. (well, other than Disney) Every kids room was designed in a different theme. Some of the rooms were themed by a professional company, and some they created the theme work themselves.
I went to visit Church In the Son in Orlando Florida. They have worked hard to create a space that kids will want to come to so they can teach them about Jesus. This space had great elements that made it fun for kids!
If you have the opportunity to go on a church tour, and visit the kids area at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, you will find visual images that show examples of families serving together, or reading the Bible together etc. Many of the display boards include a Bible verse that families can read as they pass by. Here are a few photos of some of the images:
When I was at Christ Fellowship in West Palm Beach, Florida, I saw a missions room that they use to help raise awareness for missions. It runs on a reward system. When kids come to church, bring their Bible or learn their Bible verse, they get “dollars”. Here is how the system works: