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Congratulations. You did it. Today is the last day of your 30 Day Ministry Challenge. The Ministry Challenge posts will remain for another month to make sure you are able to complete it if you behind. In August, it will be available at the Revival Fire 4 Kids store as a PDF e-book.
Your challenge for today is to take a deep breath and evaluate where you are. What challenges need more work? What do you need to do to follow through on continuing these challenges throughout the year?
Here is a complete list of the ministry challenges for you to review:
One important aspect of planning for the ministry year is making a budget. If your church provides a monthly amount for your ministry that is adequate, you are one of the fortunate ones. But either way, knowing what the cost of doing ministry is will help you.
Step Two: Go through everything you have planned this year and decide the minimum you’ll need to accomplish it.
Step Three: Add up everything you need.
Step Four: If you have enough in your church budget to cover the expenses plus more, decide where to allocate the rest of the money. You might want to hold a little back for emergencies.
Step Five: If you don’t have enough, decide where the money will come from. You could have special offerings and fundraisers or apply for grants from companies. There are ways to make it happen, but you might have to get creative.
Step Six: Ask parents and other churches for resources you need that are not in the budget.
A policy manual is important for ministry in these days when people take ministries to court for frivolous reasons, but it is even more important for student ministries. Today’s challenge is to create a policy manual.
A policy manual is something every church should have, but few follow through on this. Here are some good reasons to have a policy manual.
If you settle for any warm body to work in your children’s ministry, it will cause you more problems than lack of workers. Set the bar higher for those who will minister to the children in your church, and you’ll attract quality people. This goes against the grain, but it works. If you don’t believe me, try it for one year. Let the congregation know only those who meet the qualifications need apply. Mention that you’re doing this because you want only the best working with the children, and see what happens.
One qualification should be that only those who are fully devoted Christ followers can work in children’s ministry. No matter what, don’t compromise on this. Someone who is a carnal Christian or who plays games with Christianity is not someone you want your students looking up to as role models.
Other qualifications can include church membership, water baptism, devotional life, baptism of the Holy Spirit, screening, and mandatory teacher training.
It’s so much easier to tell a parent whose bringing a child with a 103° fever into your class that you can’t accept the child if you have a written church policy in place. Parents can handle you saying you have to follow the church policy rather than you don’t want their child there.
Safety policies need to be in place. These include teacher/student ratios for each age group. If a teacher has too many student to handle, with a policy in place, she can alert an usher who knows what to do.
Another good policy that is needed is what to do with restroom breaks. No child should wander around the church hallways unsupervised. For nursery, you’ll want policies for how to change a diaper. Rubber gloves and a bleach spray bottle should be standard for every church nursery.
One of the most important policies to have in place is how we release children to adults. It used to be we could just let the children go when church was out. That’s no longer the case. With so many divorces and estranged parent, not to mention predators, we need to be careful how we do this.
Attracting parents is a great reason to have a policy manual. Parents want to know you’re taking care of their children properly. They’re more likely to attend a church they trust with their children.
You may think you don’t need those policies in place because you’re a small church. It’s easier to put policies in place and get church members use to them while your small. Then you’ll be ready for church growth.
Revival Fire 4 Kids Policy Manual
If you need help with writing a policy manual, Revival Fire 4 Kids offers a downloadable policy manual that can be changed to fit your church for only $1.00. Just click on this link for this and other helpful products. Since you have made it this far in the 30 Day Ministry Challenge, this week only, I am offering it for free. Just click on the version you want below and download it.
Church handbook (pdf)
Using This Handbook (pdf)
Church handbook (doc)
Using This Handbook (doc)
Today’s challenge is to develop a work schedule. Developing a schedule you can work with is one of the most important features of planning your children’s ministry.
Here’s a few things to remember when developing a work schedule:
First, create a calendar. Schedule important event dates, and smaller timeline goals of when things need to be completed. Also schedule what lesson plans you are doing for the next quarter. Combine your ministry calendar, church calendar, and personal calendar so you know when events are conflicting with your personal life.
Group like items together. Block out portions of time to do different tasks. For instance, you may want to make all your phone calls, emails, and texts first thing in the morning to get them out of the way. You might want to plan lessons on one day of the week and organize upcoming events on another day. However you decide to do it, grouping like items together will help you stay focused and get a lot more done.
Work with your natural rhythms. Some people are more energetic in the morning but lag in the afternoon. Others focus better on quiet activities in the morning but get a burst of energy after lunch. Whatever you natural inclination is, don’t work against it. Schedule keeping it in mind.
Schedule Dream Time. Plan times to dream up new idea and explore new possibilities. You’ll be amazed at how creative you can be when you schedule regular times for this.
Don’t Overload Your Schedule. Everything takes longer to do than you think it will. Plan cushions in your schedule to compensate for problems you may encounter.
Plan Catch-Up Days. Everyone gets behind at times and has things on their to do list they never get to. By planning days to catch up on those things, you’ll be amazed how much you get done.
Use Tickler Files. Office managers used to have files in their desks called tickler files. When something came up that didn’t need done right away, they would put it in their tickler files to check up on at a later date. While these are no longer used, it is a good idea to schedule things in your calendar for a later date that you don’t have time to deal with now.
Be Flexible. There are times when you’ll be too busy to follow your schedule. Other times, an emergency will come up to interrupt what you’re doing. Then there are people who will need you to minister to them at times when you planned to do something else. When those things happen, don’t worry about your schedule. Do what’s important. You can always get back on track later on. People are more important than schedules.