Each year I struggle with how to show my Sunday and Wednesday investors (volunteers) how much they are appreciated by the kids, the parents, and me. So for the past two years, I have started having a “thank you” wall. Here is how it works:
In a very visible hallway/lobby, I place envelopes on the wall with every investor, greeter, intern, name and class, etc.
On a table nearby, I place out cards and pens. For the whole month of November, I encourage children and parents to write a note of thanks.
Some children draw a picture or write notes at home and bring them to church and place them in the envelopes on Wednesday or Sunday.
I also include a thank you poem and a handwritten thank-you card from me in each envelope.
The teachers are asked not to look in their envelopes while they are hanging on the wall. 🙂
We take them down the Sunday before thanksgiving and mail the envelopes to the teachers. Our goal is, while they are relaxing and being thankful, they will be blessed to read notes from the many who are grateful for the ways they share Jesus with the children.
I could not be more excited to begin my fourth session of my online children’s ministry class entitled – “Children’s Ministry as Leading Spiritual Education.” Not only do we grow together as we study and evaluate our current ministries, but we also make ministry connections that last beyond the class.
Interested in the class or know of someone that might be? The course begins October 11, and below is the class description. You will need to password equip to register. Comment and let me know if you have any questions.
This will be an examination of the role of the educator in supporting the faith development of children and families in the congregation. We’ll cover pedagogies, models of ministry, and administrational tasks. Not only will we discover how to intentionally plan and lead long-term, but we will examine best solutions to the in-the-trenches children’s ministry elements.
This course will equip you with techniques for the following:
Creating and Maintaining a Gospel-Centered Ministry
Different Models of Ministry (what’s best for your ministerial context?)
Partnering with Parents
Strategic Planning, Budgeting, Outreach, Service and Follow-Up
Building, Leading & Maintaining Volunteer Teams
Consistent & Creative Communication
Serving Families with Special Needs
The Preteen Bubble
Using Your Facility to set your teaching/worship up for success
Recently we were given the challenge to create, launch, and weely produce a guide that would engage kids grades 1st-5th in corporate worship each week. Thankfully, I work with the most amazing dawson kids team that loves rising to a challenge and delivering an excellent product. We are thrilled to be launching the dk Guide this Sunday, September 12.
I thought I would share some key elements in launching this new resource that will partner with parents to help families be confident in Christ.
THE WHY – Our team is passionate about and believes the Bible supports kids worshipping alongside their families in corporate worship. We have spent the last 18 months (since Covid began) equipping parents to be the primary disciple of their kids. Here is a copy of the letter to parents to way emailed out a week before launch.
THE GUIDE– This is a weekly resource that will be available to all 1st-5th graders in all worship services. The first half will be updated weekly and the second half will be updated months. You can see we used pages from our Children’s Bulletin subscription as well as other free resources on the internet. My favorite part is where we introduce the kids to staff and church members and kids can win a prize by meeting that person and getting their signature.
THE PROMOTION (see below) – We had a very short runway to launch this new resource and a ton of information to communicate to families, so communication was essential. (I get really geeky about this stuff.) Below you can see a copy of our September communication schedule for the dk Guide.
WEEK ONE – For the first week we wanted to give kids all the tools they needed to be engaged in corporate worship, so we made special bags. (These bags are just for week one.) Each bag contains a dk Guide, a parent information sheet (with another copy of that parent letter), crayons, a pen, and a fidget toy. After this week guides, pens, and crayons will be available each week and kids can win other fidget toys by getting staff and member signatures.
What did we miss? What more does the guide need? What do you provide for your kids to help them engage in corporate worship? I would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below and share. I am always thankful for the kidmin community.
It is one of my most favorites Sundays of the year – the day we place the living Word of God into the hands of 1st graders. This is our second year to do a walk-thru instead of a brunch, and our kids ministry team truly prefers this style more. In the brunch, we felt like we were talking to a bunch of first-graders and their families. In the walk-thru, we got to talk with each family as they rotated through the stations.
Below is a brief recap of each station with pics and links to resources.
Station 1 – the welcome balloon arch We wanted a place to begin the walk-thru, and we knew families would want a family picture. Can I say I am such a fan of balloons? in my humble opinion, they are the quickest way to decorate a large space.
Station 2 – pictures with the pastor Each child gets to get a picture with the pastor and their new Bible. The great thing about the Sunday afternoon walk-thru is that our pastor got to spend quality time with each child instead of quick Sunday morning pictures in between services. We are so thankful for our pastor’s investment in these kids and families.
Station 3 – bags and bookmarks Everyone needs a bag to carry their new Bible in, right? Plus, the Bible is a great big book, and we want to give kids some ideas of scriptures to start looking up in their Bible. This is why we make a special bookmark. On one side, it has all the favorite scriptures from the ministry staff, and on the backside, it has the favorite scriptures from their 1st-grade investors. This is such a simple gift that can have an impact for eternity.
Station 4 – the Bible I will never tire of seeing the expression on each child’s face as they receive their Bible. Each year I am encouraged and convicted to treasure the Word of God like the first time it was placed in my hands. We love the one big story Bible and buy it in the pink and blue for the kids to pick what color they would like.
Station 5 – Bible embossing cards We are so thankful that our outstanding preschool ministers joined up for this special day. Their station allowed them to congratulate their former kindergartners on moving up and getting their Bible. Also, a cool side note, our preschool ministers bought a Bible embossing machine from a closing Christian bookstore. They use this embosser for their baby dedication Bibles, and they made cards for parents to fill out and return so they can emboss their kid’s new 1st grade Bible.
Station 6 – time in a candy jar Time means more when you can see it, so we put time in a jar for the parents. Each parent gets a jar with 556 smarties that represent a week in their child’s life until they graduate high school. (I first saw this example at the orange conference using marbles. We use smarties because there are 13 smarties in a pack and it makes the jar stuffing much quicker.) We challenge them to make the most of the precious time they have being their child’s primary discipler.
Station 7 – lunch box goodies To equip parents to lead their kids in the home spiritually, we give each family a pack of lunchbox truths from tiny theologians. (if you have not seen their amazing resources, check out their websitenow.) They gave us a bulk discount for these cute lunch box truths, and we added a yummy cookie from our fantastic kitchen staff.
Station 8 – free ice cream
After the families made it through all the stations, we had an ice cream truck outside to offer free ice cream to the whole family.
here are some more of my favorite pictures of the day!
Do you do something special when you give Bibles to your kiddos? I would love to hear about that. Comment and share your ideas!