Dynamic Children's Ministry - Blog

Summer is Coming - Do You Have Your Vacation Planned?

Ah, the summer months…family picnics, swimming, lazy days…unless you are a Children’s Minister, right?!  Your summer months may sound more like this…loads of extra hours on VBS, planning summer curriculum, sorting camp registrations, and scrambling to get volunteer positions covered while ‘other people’ vacation!  If this sounds like you…summer

You may be overlooking the most important detail of the whole summer…your family vacation!  Now before you scream, “You don’t know what it’s like!” at me through your computer screen, just know that I do know what’s it’s like.  I have walked many miles in your shoes, and I know how demanding it is being a Children’s Pastor.  I also know that when I decided to make a family vacation one of my summer priorities, I became refreshed and refueled, and it generously spilled over to my ministry.

I have to admit, I learned this the hard way.  The first eight or so years in ministry, I didn’t really take family vacations.  We might go on a short trip, here and there, but nothing too long, too far, and I was never without my laptop or cell phone so everyone could get a hold of me.  I even worked when the kids were in bed, planning future curriculum and responding to messages.  My husband once asked me if I could just ‘leave it’ for a few days and my reply was that I would never get caught-up if I did. I remember seeing other church staffers going away for a holiday and felt a little resentment, but mostly I just felt that my job was different, so I needed to keep plugging away. Sad, huh.

The number one thing that changed my heart was the realization that every other child in the church had someone else who put them first…their parents.  My three kids had to share their mom with all 500+ of the other kids and my choice to work all the time was not healthy for our family or honoring to God.

So how did I do it?  I prayed, I got smarter with my time, and I enabled others to lead in my absence.  I also moved the date of Vacation Bible School to mid-June, so that the week after was spent cleaning and returning the church to normalcy, and the following two weeks were reserved (months in advance) for a weeklong trip and a weeklong stay-home vacation.

So, what camp are you in?  Do you have your summer vacation planned, or are you purposely planning not to take one?  Think about it, pray about it, and then get going!

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  If you are convinced that you can’t take a vacation, let me know, I can give you some suggestions and/or have the Dynamic Prayer Team pray for you.

VBS is Worth It!

Last week I assisted a church with their Spring Break VBS.  We used Group’s High Seas Expedition VBS and I was one of the Bible Story teachers/actors.  It was a great week with wonderful volunteers, terrific kids and meaningful teaching!

VBS Main Session

One of the most memorable events of the week came the last day after the Bible story presentation.  A second grade girl came up to me and said, “Thank you for VBS!”  I took the opportunity to talk to her further and asked if she had a good time.  She was absolutely beaming as she answered, “Yes!”  So I said, “Church is a fun place, isn’t it?”  She replied with words I will not soon forget, “Church is awesome!!!”

Kids love VBS and it has a lasting effect on them. Just ask a room of adults if they went to VBS as a child, and you will get big smiles and some great stories as they reminisce.  Even though the impact of VBS on kids is undeniably positive, many churches are starting to second-think hosting a Vacation Bible School program for various reasons, including, “VBS just isn’t worth the time and money.”

I disagree.  For many years, I have witnessed hundreds of dedicated adults and youth pour themselves into the lives of children at VBS.  Because of them, the kids spent concentrated time learning about Christ in amazing high-quality and highly engaging environments.  The staff and volunteers put their absolute best into it and in turn received the gift of seeing many of these children invite Jesus into their lives for the very first time.

It’s true that VBS is a lot of work and the budget is substantial, but in ministry, we need to decide, as with everything we do, if the time and costs equal a lasting impact on the people to whom we minister.

What’s your view?  Reply and let us know your thoughts.  Also, reply if you would like any inside tips on working with Group’s High Seas Expedition VBS, I’d love to share with you!

Need more ideas, or want help totally overhauling your ministry?  Contact Dynamic Children’s Ministry to assist you in making your Children’s Ministry…Dynamic!

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Changing the Way We Minister

Recently, I was at a Woman’s Ministry event and I met one of the speakers who in turn asked me what I do.  I told her that I am a Children’s Minister and I also help other churches with their children’s ministries.  This obviously intrigued her curiosity and she asked, what do you mean, help them?

Well, this excited me because I’m so passionate about Children’s Ministry that I want to tell everyone the loooong version of what I do, but that’s usually not the ‘small talk’ people are after (I’ve found most people ask, “what do you do” in the same way they talk about the weather).  Anyway, with a big smile on my face, and lots of enthusiasm, I told her that I help Children’s Leaders develop their Children’s Ministries to be safer, more relevant, more appealing and more engaging for this generation of kids!

As soon as that came out of my mouth, I felt like she took a straight pin and popped my balloon with her short reply, “that’s sad.”  For a second, I questioned her words in my head, “Did she just say what I think she said?  That’s sad?  Did she really say, “That’s sad?!”  I pulled my thoughts back together and very politely asked her, “Why do you think that’s sad?”   She replied it was sad that we have to change how we do children’s church now just to get it across to today’s kids.  Before I could say anymore, she was called away.

She didn’t get it.  That’s what was truly sad.  She just couldn’t comprehend how different kids are in the 21st century than when she was young, or when her kids were young, or even her grandchildren (I’m guessing she was in her seventies).  One reason is with all the digital input, kids in this generation process information differently.  Schools are noticing and responding accordingly in order to educate them, but the church…we often hold closer to our traditions than to what will reach and ultimately ‘educate’ this generation about the Savior who wants to change their lives for an eternity.

What do you think?  Is it sad, or is it what we are called to do as those who minister to children?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and passion.

If you would like to learn more about gearing your ministry to really reach today’s kids, contact me to discuss hosting a Dynamic Children’s Ministry Workshop or to set up a  coaching session.

Check out our Blog for Children's Ministry Leaders

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