What is the best way to grow your children's ministry?
A big budget?
Contemporary worship songs?
All of these things certainly won't hinder you from growing. I am not against them and would encourage you to incorporate as many as you can.
But these things alone will not grow your children's ministry. They may get kids and families inside your church doors. But they certainly won't help you keep them long term.
If your ministry is going to maintain substantial grow, then you must have "relational children's ministry." What does that mean?
It means every single child that walks in your church doors has someone who knows who they are. Someone who knows them by name. Someone who calls their name in prayer. Someone who knows what they like and don't like. Someone who knows when they are absent. Someone who knows their parents and partners with them in discipleship.
There are several things that will help you have a relational children's ministry.
1. Work hard to have good ratios. Relational children's ministry is not going to happen when you have a room of 30 kids with only 2 leaders. The better your ratios are, the better opportunity you have to see relational children's ministry happen.
You can read more about ratios for each age at this link.2. Use curriculum that has relational children's ministry built in. Curriculum that focuses primarily on large group, will not be as effective as curriculum that has a good balance between large group and small group discussions.
I created a curriculum that focuses on relationships. It uses small group discussions, ice breakers, team activities and more while also having the big group fun and games mixed in. You can check it out at this link.
3. Train and equip your volunteers to be relational. Relational children's ministry doesn't just happen by accident. You must be intentional with it. Help your volunteers see and live out relational children's ministry.
Provide them with the tools they need to be relational. Ice breakers. Get-to-know-you activities and games. Discussion questions about the lesson.
How relational is your children's ministry? Take a look around this week and see how many relational conversations are taking place. Look at your curriculum. Is it built to encourage relational connections? Listen for relational conversations.
Your turn. What are your thoughts about relational children's ministry? How do you encourage it in your ministry? Would love to hear your thoughts, insight and ideas. You can leave them in the comment section below.