Summer is always a hectic time for Children’s Ministry. Here’s a checklist to help the summer go smoother.
Camp Applications: If you have church camp for your children, make sure the information and applications have been sent to parents.
Summer Teachers/Program: Summer is a time that wrecks havoc for Sunday School programs because of vacations and weekend trips. If you do something special for summer, make sure it’s in place and teachers are aware. If not, have a list of substitutes to teach when regular teachers are out of town. Remind regular teachers to give you a list of weeks they’ll be gone ASAP.
Vacation Bible School: Do you have your workers in place for VBS? Have you ordered all the materials you’ll need? Plan a meeting for workers to pass out materials and answer their questions.
Kid’s Crusades: Have you booked a date for your kid’s crusade with the children’s evangelist? Make sure you have talked to the evangelist about all the details of the crusade.
Plan Summer Children’s Church: During the summer, you’ll be busier than normal and will be tempted to skimp on Children’s Church planning. You can avoid this by planning the whole summer program ahead of time.
Check Your Supplies: If you haven’t already done so, this is a good time to check and organize the supplies you’ll need for the summer.
While nothing can keep the summer from overwhelming even the most organized Children’s Pastor, the more you pre-plan for the weeks ahead, the better prepared you’ll be.
Here are some reasons to have a Children’s Revival or Kid’s Crusade instead of VBS this year.
A children’s evangelist or revivalist is different from a children’s pastor. Just as senior pastors call on evangelists or revivalists to preach revival services, children’s pastors should also use revivalists. The calling of a revivalist or evangelist is different than the calling of a pastor. A pastor cares for the flock day in and day out. A revivalist (who many times has the calling of an evangelist, prophet, or apostle) prays for a word from the Lord to deliverer. Once a revivalist has that word, he or she will preach everywhere God leads. This is why, when you have a kid’s crusade, you should hire a revivalist or evangelist, not a children’s pastor from another church. This is the same for adult ministry, youth ministry, and children’s ministry.
Inviting new people energizes children’s ministry. Children’s pastors are some of the greatest preachers on Earth. But change brings excitement. If you give children something or someone different occasionally, it will energize their faith in God and bring new life into your children’s ministry.
You don’t have to get together props. One of the biggest expenses of VBS is the extra materials needed to go with the theme. Crafts, activities, Bible stories props, and music all have to be added as well as supplies to go with the VBS. Children’s revivalists have all the props needed to go with their theme.
You don’t have to decorate. Decorations for VBS take a great amount of time, energy, and expense for one week’s work. Revivalists bring decorations to go with their theme and set them up.
It takes less volunteers to run. Instead of teachers and helpers for every age group, activity directors, craft directors, and snack directors you need for VBS, all you need for a kid’s crusade is one adult or teen helper for every fifteen to twenty children. Because these helpers don’t have to prepare anything, only be available to monitor children, they are easier to recruit.
There’s very little preparation. No teacher or student booklets to pass out, no craft materials to get together, no props to get a hold of; these are some of the advantages of having a kid’s crusade. All you have to do is advertise, recruit a few people to monitor the children, and pray. The children’s revivalist does all the work. It couldn’t be easier.
It costs less. VBS is more expensive than a children’s revival or Kid’s Crusade. When you look at the cost of hiring a children’s revivalist, you might be skeptical. But consider the cost of VBS. The teaching materials for the average VBS costs around $500.00 dollars. The craft materials can be as much as another $200.00 or more. Add $100.00 for decorations, another $100.00 for prizes, and another $100.00 for miscellaneous expense. This doesn’t include snack, or advertising. It’s also a very conservative estimate totaling almost $1000.00. Many churches spend more than that. When you consider the additional cost of your time that could be spent visiting children, discipling children, training and recruiting volunteers, and preparing lessons for Children’s Church, you’ll see that most children’s revivalists are a bargain.
Children are more likely to come if there’s something different. The definition of insanity is doing things the same way and expecting different results. Do something different. Let children experience God in a new way by having a kid’s crusade. Let God out of your VBS box.
For information on how you can book Revival Fire For Kids for a kid’s crusade, click the CHILDREN’S REVIVALS AND CRUSADES tab at the top menu of this blog and download the EVENT HANDBOOK or contact email@example.com.
Revival Fire For Kids is still booking spots for 2015 and 2016!
Block parties are a terrific way to reach the neighborhood around your church, especially if you have a lot of children living nearby. Block parties are essentially parties you give for the neighborhood. A good block party will have the following elements.
Invitation Blitz: If you are going to have a lot of people at your block party, you will need to go into the neighborhood and compel them to come. Print out a flier as an invitation. Then have teams go into the neighborhood by two’s and knock on every door. You could also go the route of a mass mailing, but personal invitations work so much better.
Good Food: This is a drawing card. Whether you have a cookout, spaghetti, or vendors with different foods, print what you’re having to eat on the flier. Also make sure you let them know it’s free.
Music & Drama Groups: Music should be upbeat and contemporary. If you don’t have enough music and drama groups to entertain the whole time, invite groups from other churches to minister.
Entertainment For Kids: Your carnival will draw a crowd if you have lots of entertainment for the kids. If your budget allows, have inflatables such as bounce houses, slides, and obstacle courses. Make carnival games for the children to play. Have someone make balloon animals. Have a team of people do face painting. If you have somebody who does clowning or gospel illusions, have him at the block party.
Evangelism: Train an evangelism team to make friends with the people who come, to share what the church has to offer, and to pray with people.
Prayer: This and every event should be bathed in prayer.
Park Ministry is a great way to minister to children over the summer. Whether you go to different parks and low income housing projects each time, or go to the same park at the same time every week, it can be very effective. Here are some tips to make park ministry work for you.
Decide where to go. This is a very important step. Going to a park to do ministry, when there are no children there, can be very discouraging. Canvass you city. Find out when sports practices that are held in city parks are and plan to be there when they let out. Find out where children congregate. Then contact the people in charge of that area and get their permission.
Develop your team. Park ministry doesn’t just consist of front people. Teach a group of people of various ages how to witness and release them to talk with people in the park an hour before your program. One effective tool is to teach your students how to witness, then have them play in the park. They can be instructed to invite the other children to the event when it starts.
Have upbeat music and entertainment that present the gospel in a fun and nonthreatening way. Some methods you could use are balloon animals, juggling, gospel illusions, drama, puppets, and object sermons. Make sure to make each presentation short and to the point.
Have information available about your church. If someone is interested in learning more about God, have information about your church and your children’s ministry readily available.
Find a way to get names and addresses for follow up. One way could be to have a drawing for a giant candy bar or a ten dollar bill. That way, you have a legitimate way to ask people for their contact information.
Use park ministry to start other things. Park ministry could help launch other ministries in your church such as bus ministry, sidewalk Sunday school, backyard VBS, and benevolence ministries.
Bath it in prayer. Whenever you have park ministry, plan a time before it takes place to have a prayer walk around the park.
If you’re not all ready planning your summer programs, you should be. Summer is a great time for evangelism programs. Children are out of school, and parents love to bring children to events that will curb the summer boredom.
Vacation Bible School, Kid’s Crusades, Carnivals, Sports Events, and Camps are some wonderful ways to minister to children. But there are lots of other ways to minister to children over the summer.
Here’s some tips for planning your summer program:
Pray, Pray, Pray! In case I didn’t get my point across, you need to pray before planning any events. The most effective ministries are not the ones you ask God to bless, but the ones God directs you to have. Be in His will, and He will bless your efforts.
Don’t overload the calendar. Many times, children’s pastors want to use the time available to plan as much for the children as possible. If you do this, parents will soon tire of the endless calendar of events and stop bringing the children. Remember, sometimes less is more.
Think outside the box. Just because you’ve always had Vacation Bible School, doesn’t mean you always have to have Vacation Bible School. You might want to have VBS, but do it in an entirely different way. Or you might want a different event altogether like a kid’s crusade or sports camp. Don’t always do the same thing. Plan out of the box. Look at what is no longer effective, and change it.
Remember not to be a one man show. Develop a team and release some of the responsibility to them. You can only do so much. A team can do so much more.
Katie came to church camp for the first time. Her friend who sometimes took her to church invited her. Katie still wasn’t going to go, her friend offered to pay her way. Katie loved camp. During one of the worship services, she responded to the altar call and gave her life to Christ.
Joshua came to church camp every year. He loved church camp and always looked forward to the sports events. Last year, he won an award for the sports elective he chose. This year was different though. This year, Joshua was pulled in by the evangelist who preached at the services. One night, during service, God moved on Joshua’s heart. He was saved at the age of four, but that night, Joshua committed his life to serve God. God called him to be a full-time minister at the age of ten.
Nick didn’t like school. He struggled to do the work. Kids picked on him and teased him. He didn’t like coming home either. His mom and dad screamed at each other. They barely noticed he was there. Nick looked forward all year to church camp. There, he felt loved. His cabin leader always had a kind word for him. The evangelist preached about God’s love. He had fun swimming and doing other events. When he didn’t do as well as the other kids, nobody made fun of him. The camp youth director even said hi to him and knew his name. Camp was the place where Nick learned God loved him. To Nick, church camp was better than Christmas.
These stories come true every year at church camp. Church camp is one of the most effective tools to minister to children and youth. I want to challenge you to make the effort to send the children in your ministry to camp this year. If it’s too late for this year, make the decision now to do whatever it takes to make sure they can go next year. You’ll be glad you did.
If you worked in church camp, this year, please comment and share your testimonies of the wonderful things that happened at church camp.