A dream list is a list of things you would do or have if money, time, and personnel wasn’t an issue. It’s one of the most effective ways to plan your children’s ministry and to know how to pray for what you need. Here’s how it works.
Resource Dream List: If money were no object, what supplies would your children’s ministry have? Would it have a video project, a powerful sound system, lighting, puppets, a newly designed stage? Write it down. Even if your just starting out and what you want most is some children’s music and curriculum, write that down. But no matter what stage you’re at, dream big.
After you’ve written your list, start researching and pricing items on the list. It doesn’t matter if you have the money or not. For now, just do the research. Now that you have an idea of what it costs, you can proceed.
First, decide what you really need, what the essentials are, and talk to your pastor about how to get them. He might be willing to give you a monthly budget or ask the congregation for donations. A fundraiser might be the way to go. Or you could make it a prayer project for your students. I once needed a new sound system and had the children in children’s church to pray for one every week. Whenever the old sound system squeaked, we would stop what we were doing and pray. Within two months, somebody donated a sound system.
Another thing you might do is to check with larger congregations. Sometimes they have items you need that they might be willing to donate.
Pray for creativity and bargains. You might not be able to buy new decorations for your children’s church, but you might have someone in your congregation who could paint a set on your walls or on plywood or cardboard boxes. You might not be able to afford expensive puppets, but you could have someone who knows how to sew make them. You may have your eye on expensive curriculum you can’t afford, but you might be able to buy downloadable curriculum for next to nothing that has great lessons or you could write your own.
Manpower Dream List: Make a list of every job you can think of for your children’s ministry. List everything: teachers, helpers, game directors, sound tech, sewing, baking cookies, painting sets, monitors, etc. Don’t forget to list office work such as stuffing envelopes, making copies, and designing fliers. After you’ve made the list, pray about it.
Then start looking at members of the congregation, and start making a list of people who could do the various jobs you listed. Don’t limit yourself to the same people who do everything or avoid putting somebody on the list because you’re sure he’ll say no. Expand your horizons.
After getting approval from the pastor about these people, call each of them or invite them individually to eat out or to your house for fellowship. Tell them how excited you are about the children’s ministry. Begging for workers doesn’t work. People want to be involved in something that’s working. Excitement breeds excitement and workers.
Tell the person you’ve been praying, and their name came to mind. You don’t ask just anybody to help in children’s ministry, but ask them if they would consider baking cookies once a month, or helping with the preschoolers, or teaching for three months to see if it’s something they are called to. You don’t want them if they’re not called to your ministry anyway. Ask them not to answer right away. This is an important ministry, and you want them to pray about it first.
You’ll get more workers if you make them feel important for being asked, not if you make them feel any warm body will do.
Ministry Dream List: This list will have ministry goals you would have if you could, things like a back to school giveaway, a sidewalk Sunday School, or a major Christmas production.
Maybe you’re not ready for these ministry dream yet, but write them down, and pray about them. When the right time comes, you can move in that direction because you’ve already identified the path you want to take.
For instance, you may not be ready for a Christmas production, but you could start teaching the children songs to sing in front of the congregation. That’s one step toward your goal.
Goals Dream List: What goals do you have for your children’s ministry? Write those down. Do you want the children in your ministry saved, sanctified, ministering to others? Write them down and pray for God to show you how to fulfill these goals. Then do what He tells you.
Dream Big and Believe God Delights in Doing the Impossible!