Are You an Activities Coordinator or a Children’s Pastor?
Summers were crazy for me with Vacation Bible School, camp, and summer activities. I had it in my mind that I had to provide a safe environment for kids at my church. Safe activities! The summer hit like a storm. We went to water parks, go-cart tracks, theme parks, movie Tuesdays, and much more. Then it hit me one day.
Parents can take their own kids and do fun things with them. I do not have to kill myself every summer being their activity coordinator. I had to make a change, and I did. I decided to make it serious fun! Instead of theme parks, we did mission projects. We moved VBS from the church into the community and let our kids take part in leading it.
Oh, it was fun alright, and it had a kingdom impact on the community. We saw many lives touched and changed…especially the kids in my church. I pushed the boundaries even more when I took our preteens on a mission trip some six hours away from our church. We taught them how to do everything.
They taught, led worship, shared their testimonies, taught crafts, and counseled lost children. Sure, we did some fun things on the trip, like going swimming, but they never talked much about the fun stuff, the activities. They talked about how God used them in amazing and powerful ways!
After 33 years of working as a children’s pastor in children’s ministry, I have never had a young adult come up to me and say, “That time we went to the theme park changed my life.” It has not happened. However, I have had multiple young adults come to me and say, “My first mission trip as a preteen has set me on a course for life. I am still passionate about telling people about Jesus.” That lights the fire in my heart. Those are the crowns I want….the trophies in my case.
What do you need to do? First, stop being the activity coordinator at your church and turn your program into serious fun. Here are a few suggestions…
- Take Vacation Bible School off campus: This may seem like a lot of work, but it isn’t. There are no decorations to prepare if you do it at apartments or mobile home parks. You take your boom box with Bluetooth. You can sing songs, play games, tell Bible stories, and reach kids for Christ.
- Adopt a local apartment or mobile home park: I know of some churches that do regular ministry in apartments or mobile home parks near their church. They take a grill and cook hotdogs, and they share the Good News of Christ.
- Take your kids on a mission trip: There is a little more planning involved, but if you keep it simple, you can do it. You might even join up with an organization that sponsors trips.
- Train kids in creative arts: If you do not have midweek activities planned, provide training for the kids in puppets, drama, or any type of creative arts that you can come up with. You don’t have to break the bank. Make it fun!
- Meet the needs of the elderly in your church: There are a lot of widows in the local church who would be blessed dearly by your kids. Take them to clean out their floor beds, mow their lawn, and clean up their property. You might even plant flowers.
These are just a few things you can do. Remember, making a kingdom impact has to be your top priority. Why not make it fun—serous fun! Kids’ lives are changed in the process of doing ministry.
We are committed to helping you develop a comprehensive approach to discipling and equipping children and preteens in your church for ministry.