What kind of children’s ministry does God want you to build? What do your blue prints look like? In Habakkuk 2:2 we read that God instructed Habakkuk to “Write the vision...” God knew the importance of having a vision; He knew that anything that is going to succeed must begin with a vision. It has been said, “If you can see the invisible you can do the impossible!” Where do you see your children’s ministry in 5 years? 10 years? If you see your children’s ministry in the same place it is now, there is no vision. Someone with vision looks to the future and sees progress. Vision could be a picture in your mind of 10 times the number of children and families attending within the next several years and your church having to add on to make room for the growing numbers of children. It could also be to simply have families more interactive with their children and reaching out to the community in a greater way. Vision is not necessarily based on numbers. So how do you determine the vision for the children’s ministry of your church?
First Step: Being In Agreement With Leadership
It is very important that you know what the purpose or vision of the church is and how leadership envisions the future and value of the children’s ministry.
Some questions that should be asked of leadership are as follows:
- Does the church have a vision or mission statement?
- What is it? How does children’s ministry fit into it?
- What part does the leadership of your church want children’s ministry to play?
- To what degree is leadership willing to support the children’s ministry/Family ministry in the areas of facility space, finances, and prayer?
Whenever you approach the leadership of your church, whether it is your senior pastor or a board, keep the following principles in mind:
- Always come prepared and have something in writing that you can leave with them. What you give them should explain what you want, how much it may cost, what’s needed, and what it will accomplish. (See an example under Budgets & Money link)
- Do your homework and make sure what you are asking for lines up with the overall vision of the church
- Approach leadership with a positive attitude and with respect for the position God has placed them in
- Stay away from grumbling, begging, demanding, or faultfinding
- Be thankful for what you already have. Make sure you are taking care of what has already been given to you
- Make sure you believe in what you are presenting. If you are not confident in what you are asking for then you either have not done your homework or the timing is wrong
- Keep leadership informed of what is going on in the children’s ministry (which means you’ll need to keep some type of journal or record)
- Let leadership know when children’s lives are changed, when they receive salvation, or how well the special event or fundraiser went. When leadership sees that good things are happening they will be more interested in hearing your plans for the future. Communicating this could be done through an upbeat, short monthly memo, email or in a scheduled meeting
Second Step: Establishing Purpose and Vision
If you don’t know where you are going you’ll never know if you made it to your destination
Establish what the purpose or vision is for your children’s ministry. This can only be done through one on one time spent with God. Time spent in prayer and waiting on Him to place His desire for your ministry in the hearts of those who will lead it.
Set some time aside to give thought, prayer, and focus to your vision. This might be done for a certain period of time each day. You could also set up a time to meet in prayer with leadership as a group once a week for a few weeks. Another option is to set several days aside to “get away” with God. Do as your heart directs and as your schedule permits.
During this time ask God to reveal to you what He would like to do in the children’s ministry, where He would like to take it, and the basic steps He would like you to take to get there. It will be very important for you to write down what you sense in your heart, and “see” as a possibility in the future, and what you feel God is telling you.
It could be as subtle as a thought that pops into your head out of the blue, or an exciting feeling in your “gut” when you talk about the possibility of doing a specific thing. You might just get one word or keep seeing one image over and over again. Keep seeking God and in His perfect time He will reveal His plan for your children’s ministry. Take your time on this; it will be the foundation on which you build the children’s ministry.
An example of a Vision statement for a children’s ministry would be as follows:
At (Insert church name here) our children’s ministry is called KidsTown, "where kids live and grow strong and wise".
Vision Statement Elaborated and Explained:
Even Jesus was a child at one time and had to grow up. During His childhood we see that He kept increasing in stature, wisdom, and in favor with God and men. From the day Jesus was born He had a call on His life. As He grew He developed self discipline and how to sacrifice His flesh. He also developed His spirit and discovered what His purpose was and how God wanted Him to walk it out.
By the time He was twelve He knew the scriptures so well that He astounded the high priests. By the time He was in His 30’s He was able to walk in self control and make wise choices, withstanding major temptation from Satan in the wilderness. By the time He was baptized by John, He had earned the right to hear the words “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”.
Children need to grow up in an environment where they can discover what that purpose is and learn how to walk in self-control (growing stronger) and wisdom (growing stronger in spirit), so that they can fulfill it. Our goal is to provide a place that assists families in raising their children in a way that will encourage children to grow up to be just like Jesus; confident in whom they are and able to make wise choices that will bring them grace and favor in life.