How do you develop a vision statement for your children’s ministry? Part 3 – Get the Word Out

You have finished brainstorming and created a single sentence vision statement. The last step in this vision-creating series is to make sure that everyone knows the vision for children’s ministry in your church.

You want everyone in children’s ministry to know and champion this vision. Gather your volunteers for a training day. Tell them how you arrived at your vision. Then offer them a tangible reminder of it. Creating bookmarks with the vision statement on them is a good idea. Encourage your volunteers to keep their bookmarks in their Bibles or curriculum binders. Encourage them to use the vision as they pray for their kids. It is also very important to tell your volunteers how they will be a vital part of seeing this vision fulfilled in the lives of the children in your church.

You also want the pastor and parents and other members of your congregation to know it as well. Knowing the vision statement shows them how to begin praying for the children of your church. It also shows them the value of children’s ministry. Arrange a meeting with the pastor and maybe even the board of elders or deacons. Present the vision to them.

Ideas for spreading the word about your vision include:

  • on your church website
  • on bookmarks
  • on posters
  • on letters
  • on registration forms
  • your email signature

Take some time at the end of your brainstorming day to think of ways of getting the word out creatively in your church community. Make it very visible. The goal is to have everyone be able to share the vision statement if asked.

 

A vision statement is a dream of what you want the kids in your ministry to be like once they leave. But it should be an attainable dream. You should be able to see it working out in the lives of the kids you minister to.

Dream big for your kids and then do all you can to fulfill that vision!

 

How do you develop a vision statement for your children’s ministry? Part one – Brainstorm, Part two – Create a single sentence vision statement, Part three – Get the word out.

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How do you develop a vision statement for your children’s ministry? Part 2 – Create a single-sentence vision statement.

You have completed your brainstorming session and you have the bones of your vision statement. Now it’s time to write the vision statement for children’s ministry in your church.

It’s your job to take the things you have highlighted and/or the larger categories you have created and write in a single sentence. This could take a while to get it down to one sentence, but work at it. Making your vision statement a single sentence is important. A single sentence forces you to focus your dreams. Remember, you are making a target that all your children’s ministry volunteers are going to aim at. Make it focused.

If your vision statement is to be effective, it needs to be easily recognizable and easily passed on. A single sentence will help you to accomplish this.

When writing the vision statement it is important to do so from the children’s perspective. Ultimately, it won’t be a statement about your children’s ministry, but about the kids in your ministry. An example of a vision statement written this way is, “Kids who passionately love God and live out their faith in words and actions.” Beginning the sentence with “Kids who” helps to keep you focused on writing it from the child’s perspective.

So, on your whiteboard or flipchart write, “Kids who” and look to your brainstorming notes to complete the sentence.

Once you have your vision statement written in a single sentence from the children’s perspective, it’s time to evaluate it.

Evaluate your vision statement by the qualities of a good vision statement.

Inspiring

  • A good vision statement is inspiring for the volunteers in your children’s ministry. Does your vision statement spur your volunteers on? Does it get them excited about what God can do in the lives of your kids?

Memorable

  • A good vision statement is memorable. It is easy to remember because it is a single sentence, focused, and relevant to your kids, your volunteers, and your church.

Rooted in Scripture

  • A good vision statement is rooted in Scripture. God’s Word is our final authority. Any vision for our kids should be based on the truth of God’s Word and express a love for the Word of God. “Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” Proverbs 30:5

In line with the larger vision of your church

  • Children’s ministry is part of the larger ministry of your church. Your vision for your kids needs to be in line with the larger vision of your church. If your church has a vision statement, make sure that you and your team know it and write a vision statement that supports it. It’s okay if it’s not the same, but it needs to be heading in the same direction. For example, this kids ministry vision statement, “Kids who passionately love God and live out their faith in words and actions,” is in line with the vision statement of the church, “For God’s glory we will have maximum impact in our world by seeing lives changed in their depth of love for God and for people.” It’s not the same, but it is aiming for a similar target.

In the next post of this vision-creating series I will talk about the importance of getting the word out about your children’s ministry vision.

 

How do you develop a vision statement for your children’s ministry? Part one – Brainstorm, Part two – Create a single sentence vision statement, Part three – Get the word out.

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How do you develop a vision statement for your church? Part 1 – Brainstorming

A vision statement is a single sentence description of what you want your kids to be like when they leave your children’s ministry.

I described vision as a dream in my previous post. Another way of looking at it is to call it a target.

I learned archery when I was at Bible camp as a teenager. I was taught to use my bow and arrow properly, and then I was shown a target. I aimed my bow at the target and hoped I wouldn’t lob the arrow into the air above the bales of hay! The target was something to aim at.

A vision statement is a target. It is what you are aiming for in your children’s ministry. Having a single target gives all volunteers the same thing to aim for.

How do you find the right target for your children’s ministry? For the rest of this vision-creating series, I’m going to teach you how to develop a vision statement that is specific to your church.

Step One – Brainstorming

Plan a brainstorming day for the children’s ministry leaders and volunteers in your church. If you are the sole children’s ministry leader, invite the volunteers to join you. Brainstorming is possible by yourself, but much more fun as a group. Try and have leaders/volunteers from all areas of children’s ministry involved – Sunday School, mid-week clubs, nursery, VBS, etc.

Pray together. Ask God to give you wisdom and the freedom to dream big for the kids in your care.

If possible, use a whiteboard or chalkboard or flipchart. Draw a child (I’m not an artist – a stick figure will work!) Write “I am 12 yrs old” above the drawing. Tell the group, “Let’s pretend that this is a child who has graduated out of children’s ministry. What do you want them to be like?” Or use a picture of a baby who is currently in your nursery. “When Julie finishes grade 6, what do you want her to be like?”

Ask the group to share what they want kids to be like once they leave children’s ministry. How do they want the kids to act and speak and think? Write it all down. Nothing is silly or unimportant. It is important during brainstorming to make sure everyone agrees on the rules – all ideas are written down, no idea is made fun of.

Here are some examples of the types of things that might be shared: love God’s Word; have a big picture of who God is; understand the gospel; love others; pray for their enemies; love God; follow Jesus.

Once everyone has shared, look again at what you have written. Start to circle or highlight things that are mentioned more than once. This is where the bones of your vision statement will come from. You may notice that the same 1 or 2 ideas keep popping up. In that case a vision statement like this might emerge, “Kids who know, love, and follow Jesus.”

This is also the time to see if you can group any thing into larger categories. For example, if there are a lot of ideas like, “Love others, pray for your enemies; give generously; think of others…” then they can be grouped into a larger category called “Loving Others,” or “Loving People.” In this case a vision statement like this might emerge, “Kids who love God and love people.”

You are now ready to move on to step 2. Step 2 will be outlined in my next post.

 

How do you develop a vision statement for your children’s ministry? Part one – Brainstorm, Part two – Create a single sentence vision statement, Part three – Get the word out.

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Why do you need a vision for your children’s ministry?

Do you ever wonder if you are accomplishing anything more valuable than babysitting?

Do you ever feel discouraged by the lack of volunteers?

Do you ever get frustrated by the children’s behavior?

Do you ever feel like your children’s ministry isn’t “connected” to what your church is doing?

Do you ever end up wondering why you even serve at all in children’s ministry?

Children’s ministry is a lot of work. There are a lot of details and juggling. And it can be thankless work.

So in order to stay focused and motivated, you need to keep the bigger picture in mind: Children’s ministry is more than education or babysitting. It’s about preparing/discipling our kids to glorify God throughout their whole lives. You’re not just helping Jonny learn to share; you’re teaching him a truth about God that will be relevant for his whole life.

A vision statement can help.

A vision statement is a single sentence description of what you want your kids to be like when they leave your children’s ministry.

A vision is important because it gives all your children’s ministry volunteers something to work towards.

A vision statement…

Unifies volunteers from different programs

A children’s ministry vision statement can help volunteers from all the different programs see how the ministry they are involved in connects with and supports the ministry other volunteers are involved in. VBS volunteers will see how they are connected to Sunday School volunteers. Mid-week clubs will see how they are part of the children’s ministry team. Volunteers from all children’s ministry programs at your church will be unified; working towards the same goal.

Helps you decide what to do with current ministries and potential ministries

If you have a vision statement for your children’s ministry, you have a standard to evaluate all programs by. If any of your current programs don’t help fulfill your vision, then you need to consider letting them go. When considering a new program, evaluate it in light of your vision statement. If it will help you achieve your dream for your kids, then it is a program you should strongly consider. This is a very helpful tool. There are a lot of programs and possibilities out there and it is not possible to use all of them at your church. Having a vision statement will help you as you evaluate possible programs.

Helps you sell children’s ministry to the church leadership and the congregation

Sometimes the congregation will need help in seeing the true value of children’s ministry in your church. A vision statement helps them to see the bigger picture. It will help them to see opportunities to volunteer. It will also show them how to pray for your children and children’s ministry volunteers. It will help the church leadership as they are setting your budget. It will also help the church leadership see the connection between children’s ministry and all of the other ministries in the church.

Motivates volunteers and reminds them why they are serving

When a volunteer feels mired down in details and discipline problems, your vision statement will help them to see beyond the present frustrations. Knowing that there is a bigger picture will motivate your volunteers. A vision statement will remind your volunteers that the goal is discipleship – children who know, love, and serve Jesus.

Vision statement examples

Here’s the vision statement we created at one of the churches I served in, “Kids who passionately love God and live out their faith in words and actions.

Here are some other vision statements I’ve found from other churches that will you see what vision statements look like.

To equip children to be well-grounded in God’s Word, to build godly character, to instill the priority of the Great Commission, and to develop good spiritual disciplines, all for the Glory of God. (Evangel Bible Church of Berkley)

We want an ever-growing number of children to visit our church, finding a place where they feel loved, come to know Christ, and continue to grow through fun and life-changing experiences.

We want to see every child in our ministry discipled one-on-one by a parent or loving adult before they leave the children’s ministry so that they will know basic doctrine, be practicing the spiritual disciples and have acquired the biblical skills needed to survive the turbulent teenage years and prepare them for a life of loving, obeying and serving God.

With guidance from the Lord, children will be prepared to be strong believers, effective Christian youth, and future church leaders. (Fellowship Baptist Church)

Scripture Versus Vision

Some people may ask why we don’t use a Bible verse for a vision statement.

Children’s ministries should have a verse or passage that inspires them in their work as volunteers. A vision statement, however, is a dream of what you want in the future and it’s specific to your church and to your children. I believe that a vision statement must always be rooted in scripture because the Bible gives us everything we need for godly living. So use your Bible as a guide when creating your vision statement, but remember that a vision statement is very specific to how you want YOUR kids to leave YOUR children’s ministry.

For example, the vision I used for one of the churches I’ve served in was: “Kids who passionately love God and live out their faith in words and actions.

And, the verse we used to inspire our vision was: “We will not hide these truths from our children but will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord…So each generation can set its hope anew on God, remembering His glorious miracles and obeying his commands.”(Psalm 78:4&7)

 

Remember a vision statement is a single-sentence description of the dream you have for the children in your ministry. What will they look like once they leave children’s ministry?

Stay tuned. In the next few blog posts I will teach you how to create a vision for your children’s ministry.

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