Fourth Step: Setting Goals
The next step you need to take is to set some basic goals. You will need to know what you are working with before you can do this. Take some time to evaluate where the children’s ministry is. Following are some questions you could ask as you evaluate:
- What is the vision of the Church?
- How does the leadership in the church view the Children’s Ministry?
- What space, resources, and assistance do you currently have?
- Whom do you have that is willing to help?
- Do you have a budget?
- How many children do you currently have? What ages?
- If you have volunteers already, do they enjoy what they do?
- What do teachers voice their concerns about the most?
- What do parents voice their concerns about the most?
- What positive things do the children say?
- What do the children think about the children’s ministry?
- What would the children do differently?
- What are the three strongest areas of the children’s ministry?
- What are the three weakest areas of the children’s ministry?
There are many more questions you could ask when evaluating the children’s ministry but these will get you started. Once you have taken the time to evaluate the children’s ministry in your church, choose the 3 weakest areas. Focus on improving them, while at the same time giving attention to maintaining what is already in place if you feel it is a benefit to the vision and plan you have established.
If you currently have a program or event in place that does not fit within the vision God has given you, accept that its season is over and its time to say goodbye to it. Generally if you are in phase one of building your children’s ministry the following three areas will need your attention:
- Focus on establishing a strong volunteer base that has a sense of teamwork
- Focus on building a strong budget for children’s ministry
- Focus on bringing organization to the administrative aspects of children’s ministry
There are many resources and ministries that can offer assistance in the areas in which your children’s ministry needs help. Take some time to check out what is available on the internet, in bookstores, and at conferences. Do your homework, and stay focused on the three main issues at hand. Do not get side tracked in the process; remember there is a time for every season under the sun.
You may be have times of disappointment or feel overwhelmed at the task ahead. Don’t despise small beginnings. God will bring the increase - Job 8:7. If a church is determined to build a successful children's ministry they will find the ways and means to accomplish their purpose.
The primary need is FAITH IN GOD - Mark 11:24&25. I have written a five part series titled Five Ways Leaders Limit Themselves. I encourage you to take the time to read it if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed. You will find it listed under Leadership Articles.
Fifth Step: Following God's Plan
Lastly, stay focused on the vision God has given you for the children’s ministry at your church. At times you will be tempted to take on projects or hold events that have nothing to do with the purpose God has given for your children’s ministry. Do not get distracted!
Just because people may be pressuring you to do VBS or camp, and every other church within 5 miles of your church does VBS or camp, it does not mean God has called YOU to do it! He may, He may not. Seek Him first before you make your choices. Remember God will only support what He has endorsed. As the saying goes, “If it’s not His will He won’t cover the bill.”
Note: If you are receiving pressure from leadership to go in a direction you do not feel God has instructed you to go; attempt to positively communicate what is in your heart for children. Submit to their decision and pray for God to work in their hearts and yours so that you reach a place of agreement.
If this does not seem possible after a period of time then you may need to reevaluate your position or your heart. You will either need to fall in line with their request and follow their vision or, If you do not believe you can come to a place of unity with the leadership, seek God about either changing your heart or giving you new direction.
I strongly believe that if you are not in agreement with your pastor and leadership it will only cause discord and bring division to the church. If there is consistent conflict between the leadership of the church and yourself it usually comes down to the issue of whether or not you can submit. Are you in the right place, God is working in you and you need to be more patient? If this is the case, God will bring about the vision He has placed in your heart.
It could also be that you are in the wrong place or your season there is over. You definitely need to seek His direction to be sure. If this is the case, trust your situation to Him and He will open up another door of opportunity for you to be able to accomplish the vision He has given you. Either way keep your heart pure and your attitude positive. You have an important decision to make. It should be made based on much prayer and self-evaluation. This type of decision should never be made in haste.
You must will or choose to obey God’s leading. When God gives a command or a vision of truth, it is never a question of what He will do, but what you will do. To be successful in God's work is to fall in line with His will and to do it His way even when it does not line up with your will or popular vote.
As He states in His word, “To obey is better than offering a sacrifice to cover your disobedience.” Doing what is pleasing to Him is always a success; however, sometimes reaching that success includes walking down the narrow road of faith and self sacrifice. Make sure that you are building God's children’s ministry, not yours. If you are building it in your own strength, and not by His anointing, it will fail.