Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry

Purpose Mission VisionI can understand the temptation to jump right in. You are the new children’s ministry leader at your church or maybe you are the Sunday School Superintendent or maybe the pastor has asked to you take on the VBS program at your church. Whatever it is, the temptation is to jump right in and get to the fun stuff. But when you give in to that temptation, you don’t take time to think about why you are running this program or what you hope to accomplish.

Maybe you have been leading children’s ministry in your church for a while. Maybe you have been doing VBS for years. Maybe you have been teaching Sunday School for as long as you can remember. You’re plugging along. Things are going fine, but when you stop to think about it, you are not really getting anywhere. Chances are you know the purpose and mission of your ministry, even if it’s not written down anywhere. But maybe you don’t have a vision for that ministry or maybe you haven’t fleshed out your vision. Maybe you haven’t created any goals that will help you accomplish big things in your ministry.

Purpose, Mission, Vision, Goals

Children’s ministry is so important that any leader needs to take the time to start at the beginning and outline the purpose, mission, vision, and goals for the ministry (no matter how long they’ve been at it!)

Some of you might be groaning, but this isn’t just boring paperwork. This is the fun stuff! This is where you get to dream big for the ministry you are involved with and more importantly for the kids you are serving.

This is where you get to answer big questions like “Why does this ministry exist?” and “What are we going to do?” and “How are we going to get there?”

For any ministry you are involved with, whether you are leading or volunteering, it’s important to know why you are doing it and what you hope to accomplish. This is where you get to figure out the big picture and help others see the big picture.

In this series, I’m going to explain what purpose, mission, vision, and goals are and why they are important for your ministry.
The series will start with purpose. The big question to ask when figuring out purpose is “Why does this ministry exist?” Next, we’ll move onto mission and ask, “What are we going to do?” Third is vision, “How are we going to get there?” And finally, I’m going to help you write some goals that will help you fulfill your purpose and make your vision a reality.

Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry Series

Introduction – Purpose, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry

Do You Have a Purpose?

Is Your Mission a Secret Mission?

How’s Your Vision?

How to Write SMART Goals

 

 

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Fuel Conference

20131102_124711Fuel Conference was a regional children’s ministry conference held last weekend and I was glad to be part of it.

Around 200 people from 35 churches in Manitoba and Saskatchewan came to be encouraged and trained.

Friday night started with registration and a main session and then a great time of networking. Saturday was jam-packed with 2 main sessions and 4 breakout seminars.

I presented 4 breakout seminars and had a great time! I met tons of great people and was encouraged myself with the quality of people serving in children’s ministry.

The main speaker was Sam Luce who is a pastor from New York state. During the first main session he talked about getting back to the basics. The one basic he focused on was the sovereignty of God. This is a huge truth but one that we need to grab hold of ourselves and one we need to be teaching our kids. He said, “God’s sovereignty produces in us a strong and unshakeable assurance in a God who never fails.” That’s true. And that is one of the main reasons we need to be teaching our kids about our God who is in complete control; who reigns over everything; who is worthy to be adored; and who deserves our complete trust. God never fails.

If there is a conference like this coming up in your area, I want to encourage you to go. Conferences like this offer encouragement and much-needed training. You will come away with knowledge, tips, and ideas. But, more importantly, they are an opportunity to network; to meet other people in your area that are involved in children’s ministry.

There is huge value in getting together with other people in children’s ministry. You will quickly realize that you are not alone. It is an opportunity to learn from each other and to encourage each other. Take time to build relationships with other children’s ministry volunteers and share ideas and struggles and successes.

 

I have added some of the books I recommended in my breakouts on my Fuel Conference page. For those of you who were asking about where I got the books of the bible cards, check it out!

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Fuel Conference

cropped-Fuel-Banner

I’m heading to Portage la Prairie, MB!

This weekend I will be presenting 4 breakout sessions at Fuel Conference. I am excited about being involved in this kidmin training seminar. People are coming from Saskatchewan and Manitoba to network, be encouraged, and be trained as Children’s Ministry leaders and volunteers.

This conference is the first of it’s kind here in Manitoba and I am pumped about being involved!

Check back next week for an update on the conference and some training videos!

 

 

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My Observations of a Small Town Children’s Ministry

Rural church in field.

 

On our recent trip to PEI, my husband and I visited a small Baptist church. It was our privilege to worship with such friendly people.

We were welcomed with open arms (and quite a few hugs!) The congregation might have been small (about 40 people) but they made up for it with such huge hearts!

This church ran Sunday School during the service. The children were dismissed after the singing to their class downstairs.

Children ages 3-9 were in one class. The curriculum chosen was targeted for children in Grade 1.

I was impressed with the volunteers willing to take on such a challenge! It’s not easy teaching a class with children of such varying ages. But these teachers rotate with each other teaching from a very solid curriculum.

So, what were my observations of this small town children’s ministry:

  • Lots of love!
  • Lots of fun!
  • Solid Biblical teaching
  • Committed volunteers who are willing to work with what they have

Sounds like a great children’s ministry to me!

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Children’s Ministry Spectrum

It can be difficult in children’s ministry to know what programs to run, what programs to continue, and what programs to stop using. There are so many options and so many fun things to do with kids.

Using a children’s ministry spectrum will help with the tough choices you need to make.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples.  As children’s ministry volunteers this is our commission. The children’s ministry spectrum uses this verse as a foundation.

The first step in the process is to go. There are children in our communities who need to hear of the love of God and the gift of salvation that is offered to them.

Outreach events

This is the first stop on the children’s ministry spectrum. Outreach involves meeting the kids in our communities, building relationships, and meeting their needs.

Outreach ideas include Breakfast Club at the local school, Mom & preschooler drop-in, Homework Club, Lego Club, Sports Camps, Drop-in programs after school, Mid-week clubs, after school care, drama camps, Christmas programs/parties, and Spring Break events.

It is so important to build relationships with kids and show our love by meeting their needs, but the command to make disciples requires us to share the gospel.  That is the next stop on the spectrum.

Evangelism

At some point we need to share the gospel with the kids we have been building relationships with. Especially when working with kids, the gospel needs to be shared more than once and in different ways. The truth of the gospel stays the same, the opportunities for sharing it, however, are many.

Evangelism opportunities include VBS, day camps, gospel-focused sports camps, backyard clubs, Christmas and Easter services, and one-on-one conversations.

Discipleship

New believers need to be given opportunities to grow in their faith and to fellowship with other believers.

Discipleship opportunities include individual or group mentoring, Sunday School, Children’s Church, Prayer Meetings, Mid-week clubs, Corporate Worship, and fellowship.

Service

Disciples need the opportunity to discover the gifts God has given them, develop them and then use them to serve in the church.

We need to give the kids in our care the opportunity to learn about Spiritual gifts, discover their gifts, and use their gifts in the church and community.

Missions

Disciples need the opportunity to go and make disciples themselves by being involved with missions. We need to give our kids opportunities to learn about missions, support missions, pray for missionaries & missions around the world, and be involved locally & globally.

These could include Missions events at the church, missions projects, opportunities to pray to missions, and community mission projects.

The children’s ministry spectrum provides a way for you to look at the children’s ministry of your church and see how you are doing in each area.

The spectrum is not made up of individual pieces, rather they blend together to create a cohesive children’s ministry.

I have created a worksheet for you to evaluate your current programs. It looks like this.

Print off this resource (PDF file) and plot your children’s ministry programs into the spectrum. Are there areas that are overwhelmed with programs? Are there areas that are lacking in programs?

I have also developed this wall poster for you to print and post on your wall to refer to.

I hope this is a useful tool for you and your team as you continue the work of children’s ministry in your church and community.

 

 

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