By Jana Magruder
Often, new kids ministry directors think their first step as a leader should be to recruit an army of volunteers. After all, what kids ministry doesn’t need more people to help? While this is important, I suggest that the first thing a kids ministry director should do is start with the why and create a kids ministry philosophy.
Philosophy is a word that gets thrown around quite a bit and can mean different things to different people. When I describe a kids ministry philosophy, I focus on pointing to the core mission and values you put in place so that you can always point back and say, “Our kids ministry is about [fill in the blank].” So, what how do you do that?
Think through the following constructs and ask yourself these questions.
- What are the close-handed, non-negotiable parts of your kids ministry? Take a few minutes to write these down. Think about all the things that you would never let go of and fight for to stand upon for the ministry God has given you. For example, it may (and hopefully it does) have something to do with evangelism and discipleship of children who are part of your ministry and community.
- What are the open-handed, variable parts of my ministry? Now, spend some time thinking through these items. There likely will be more open-handed items than non-negotiable parts. Examples might include curriculum or Bible studies, the timing of VBS, how to divide classes, safety procedures, activities, snacks, and so forth.
As you can see, there are many decisions about kids ministry that can be seen through the lens of open and closed hands. When it comes to building a philosophy of ministry, it’s important to focus on the non-negotiable portions. What are the essential values, mission and purpose of your kids ministry? Answer these questions, and you’ll be well on your way to creating your kids ministry philosophy.