Many times children’s pastors are bogged down by a busy calendar with events they plan at the last minute. Some of these events, sometimes important ones, get left by the wayside while others that have no influence of significance are at the forefront.
It’s not important how busy your calendar is. What is important is how effective your events are. This year, try looking at events in a new way. Throw out the ones that don’t work or change them, and consider new ideas.
Here’s a guide to decide what events to plan.
Is the event something your children’s ministry is known for? There are some events that will resonate with the children in the community. Your children’s ministry will be known for having those events every year.
It may be that you have the most creative VBS around or that you have a Back to School Bash and Block Party that nobody wants to miss. Those are the events you want to keep on your calendar at all costs.
Is the event working? You have VBS every year with the same theme as ten other churches within a one mile radius. It’s hard to find workers, and only 20 kids show up, but you’ve always had VBS. This event may have worked at one time, but it’s time to give it a proper burial.
You may decide to do something different this year. Have a kid’s crusade or a sports camp. Do a block party or park ministry. The point is you have options. Don’t keep doing something that doesn’t work.
Do you have the resources and workers to hold an event? You want to give bookbags and school supplies to those in need. But if your church only has a congregation of fifty, you may not have the resources to do what you’ve planned.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have the event, but you do have to take that into consideration. You might decide to hold off until your church grows. Or you might partner with other churches and community organizations to make it happen. Or you might limit it to children in your church. But you need to consider that factor.
What need does this event meet?
Does your children’s ministry need to disciple? Then you’ll want to plan events that meet that need.
Do the children in your ministry not connect with each other? Then you might want to plan some fellowship events.
Does your children’s ministry have a problem reaching the community? Then you’ll want to plan community outreaches that draw in more than church families.
Consider the needs of your children’s ministry, and plan events accordingly.
What purpose does your event have? The church has a five-fold purpose: evangelism, fellowship, benevolence, worship, and discipleship. Make sure every event you plan fits neatly in one of those purposes. It may overlap some, but don’t try to have events that are geared toward all of these purposes. When you know an events purpose, you can plan it better.
For instance, if I have a children’s ministry party whose purpose is evangelism, I’m going to find creative ways to get children outside the church, but if it’s purpose is fellowship, my main goal will be to get church children there and provide team building activities for them. If an event doesn’t have one of those five purposes, it doesn’t need to be on your calendar.
Do you have the time and the workers? It’s better to have a couple of events that really work than to load your calendar with an event every month. Consider resources, time constraints, and workers available when planning your events.
Also consider what’s going on in other areas of the church. Don’t expect teenage workers to help if they have their own party going on at the same time.
If your church has a ladies event every year on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, that probably isn’t the right time to plan a children’s outing. Many of your workers, moms, won’t be available to help, and they won’t bring their children because they already have plans.
During Christmas, consider that moms are overwhelmed with chores. Don’t expect them to show up at Christmas Play rehearsals unless you can advertise it to them that they can leave their kids there while they finish up their shopping.