Friday, November 22, 2013

Thankful- Part 3

Happy week before Thanksgiving!  No, seriously... next week is Thanksgiving!  I can't believe it.  I am realizing more than ever this month how vast the things that I am thankful for are.  I can not put into words the gratitude and gratefulness that is in my heart this year.  Today, is my third post in my #KidsMin thankful series and I'm featuring Janelle from Well Equipped Volunteer.  

Janelle is a Children’s Ministry coach from Winnipeg, MB with over 17 years’ experience in children’s ministry. She has worked in both large and small churches, directed, designed and wrote VBS material, and served in almost every capacity in children’s ministry. Janelle specializes in empowering children’s ministry volunteers. Find free tips and resources, and sign up for the free newsletter at www.wellequippedvolunteer.com

Read about what she has to say about why she is thankful for #KidsMin and about who she is thankful for. 


Why I’m Thankful for Children’s Ministry

I grew up in the church. My parents were in ministry, which means that I was a student in children’s ministry. I attended Sunday School and children’s church and clubs. And I confess that as a student I took children’s ministry for granted. Then when I was older, I volunteered in children’s ministry. It was a natural progression from student to teacher, but I still didn’t fully appreciate the value of children’s ministry.

As I spent more time in children’s ministry, I began to appreciate its true value. Now after nearly 20 years of professional children’s ministry experience, I’m more passionate than ever about the importance of children’s ministry: we are raising up the next generation of the Church! Tomorrow’s pastors, leaders, missionaries, and prayer warriors are wiggling in your classroom today.

The Psalmist tells us, “We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done… so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.” Psalm 78: 4&8 (NIV)

Therefore, I am most thankful for children’s ministry volunteers who faithfully show up each and every week, prepared to teach the next generation about our God and the things He has done. They sacrifice family time and sleep, their patience is tested, perhaps they even shed a few tears. They pray, they teach, they wipe noses, they discipline in love. It’s not easy work! It’s sometimes hard to immediately see the impact of their work in a child’s life.

That’s why I focus on equipping volunteers. Because what greater call is there than building up tomorrow’s church?

So here are three quick tips for all children’s ministry volunteers to make sure you are laying a strong foundation for tomorrow’s church:

·         Children love structure and routine! Create a structure in your classroom or program and stick with it every week. You will be amazed at how smoothly your classroom or program will run.
·        Identify your main point and teach that one thing during your lesson. Cut away all the extraneous material that distracts from that one thing.
            Resist the temptation to teach morals. Focus instead on teaching kids who God is and why we follow Jesus. Good morals will naturally follow.

Learn more about these tips and find many more free resources at my website, www.wellequippedvolunteer.com

Volunteers, I am so thankful for the work you’re doing! I know sometimes it’s hard and seems unrewarding, but your impact will be felt decades from now, so press on!


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