One of the most important parts of project management for children’s pastors is determining your available resources and deciding what resources you need.
The first resource you’ll want to look at is how much money has been budgeted for your project. Usually the amount of money is beyond your control. Pastors and councils usually set up the budget. But it helps to work closely with your pastor and communicate how much you need to accomplish your project and which items can be taken off the wish list if need be. If you do that, your pastor will be more likely to work with you in establishing a great program.
Once you know how much the church will provide, look at your budget creatively. Are there items that can be donated by people or businesses? Do you want to fundraise to get extra money? Will you take an offering to defray expenses.
Sometimes there are easy ways to cut expenses. For instance, to use the VBS example, you could buy craft materials at a discount craft store to make crafts rather than use the expensive kits most VBS’s provide. Or you could eliminate the student books and substitute activities.
Your church calendar is a resource you can’t afford to overlook. Don’t just find an empty date on the calendar. Check what’s going on with other ministries in the church.
If you use teens for your event and the teens are going on a youth retreat, you might not want to schedule your event for the same week-end. If you do, you’ll find yourself scrambling for workers.
Also if your church has a busy season, your workers and parents may be overloaded by one more event on the calendar. A little pre-planning will save you headaches.
Once you have a date scheduled, communicate to the church and ministry leaders so they won’t plan anything to conflict with your project. Also let your workers know early so they can plan to work at the event.
Determine how many workers you’ll need and write short job descriptions for each role your workers will play. Also have a wish list of extra jobs in case you have more workers than you thought you would.
You might also want to schedule different people for clean up and follow up after the event. Sometimes after an event, your workers will be tired and want to go home rather than tear down. If you have another crew ready to come in, it will make things that much easier.