A new ministry year is about to begin for your children. How can you make this be his/her best year yet?
Have you …
… told them how glad you are that your church has a children’s ministry and how glad you are that they’re a part of it? This doesn’t have to be a 20 minute (or even five minute) lecture. Simply say once or twice, “I’m thankful our church sees the importance of ministering to children and I’m thankful you’re part of it. This gives you an opportunity to learn even more about God’s Word and to make Christian friends.” Your children need to know that you care about them participating.
… checked on what you, the parent, needs to do. Is it possible to pre-register your child, and, if your church has a fee, to pre-pay? The less confusion the first night on the child’s part, the better.
… made sure your child knows where her vest/jersey and handbook (if needed) are located NOW, so she’s not running around 15 minutes before you need to leave for church the first night?
… designated a place in the house for your child to keep his stuff between club nights, so it’s not a constant “I can’t find my ….” each week.
… introduced her to any teachers/leaders. Young children or children beginning a ministry at a new church are often hesitant about attending the first time. Find our who her teacher will be and introduce them at church. This will help the child feel more comfortable the first night. (Older children or children who are familiar with the teachers don’t need a pre-introduction.)
… gotten familiar with the curriculum your child will be working through this year? What Bible truths will he be studying? What verses will he be learning?
… checked last year’s book? Does he have only a few more sections to say before completing last year’s book? Why not work with him to get those completed before the school year starts or on the first night – so he’ll be caught up.
… talked about how he’ll schedule his work during the year? Each night after supper, we’ll work on your Bibles studies or verses for 15 minutes. Or, Saturday morning, we’ll go out for breakfast and go over your sections.
… discussed friends he might invite. Bringing friends can be difficult, not only because people in today’s world are often suspicious of churches, but because car-seat regulations can also limit who and how many you bring. If your child has a neighborhood or school friend he’d like to invite, be willing to talk to the parent and work out logistics.
… worked out goals for the year? At what date should your child be a quarter of the way through the book? At what date should she be halfway through the book? Talk with your child about reasons he/she thinks it’s important to study God’s Word.
… offered to help out as a ministry teacher/leader? Many churches require you to be a regular attender at their services to help out in their children’s ministry. But if it is your church, pray about being one of the leaders. Being part of the group helps you to know what your child is learning and what’s happening. (Of course, this means you need to go through any training or child protection classes.) Even if it isn’t your church, there may be things you can do such as cut out shapes for upcoming crafts (Cubbies/Sparks) or making some room decorations for T&T.
…prayed for your child, for his teachers and for the ministry.