This past Sunday I didn’t preach and took the opportunity to volunteer in Planet Rev, the kids ministry at Revolution Church. It was quite an experience for me and hopefully for the kids in the class.
So, here are 5 things I learned from teaching kids ministry one week:
- Tell stories. Everyone loves stories, but kids especially love stories. It is how they imagine things. Kids don’t do reason, they do stories. It is how things get passed down.
- Have one idea. Don’t have more than one idea. This is the same for a sermon. If you have more than one point, no one will remember it. I love that our church uses the gospel project in our kids ministry and how each week we point to Jesus in our lessons with the kids. Whatever lesson you are teaching to kids, students or adults, have one point.
- Sermon needs to be done on time. 75 minutes is a long time to keep any child entertained. Pastors, me included, often neglect this idea and say, “I went long cause the Spirit was moving.” That may be true, but the Holy Spirit can speak through a 35 minute sermon just like He can through a 55 minute sermon. If you say your service is 75 minutes long, it needs to be that long. Your volunteers plan for the amount of time they’ve been told and if you go long, it makes it hard on them.
- Say thanks to volunteers. Always say thanks to your volunteers. If you have 1 service, really say thanks as those who volunteer with the kids come to church JUST to serve that week. They miss interacting with adults, singing, taking communion, hearing a sermon. They are my heroes. They do this because they believe it matters and children need to hear about Jesus and parents should hear about Jesus in a way that makes sense to them.
- Interact with parents differently. It was fun serving in the kids ministry because parents did some double takes, is that really our pastor?
I think every pastor should take a week off from preaching and teach in the kids ministry at least once. At Revolution, all of our kids volunteers wear red vests to mark that they work with kids. Our Kids/Student Pastor asked me if I was going to wear the vest. I told him, “Whatever expectation you have for volunteers, you need to have for me.” I got over 20 comments that went something like this, “I can’t believe you volunteered in there and wore the vest.” What’s sad about that is the reminder of how as pastors we allow ourselves to be above things and not servants.
Lastly, if you volunteer with kids and students at Revolution Church. You are my hero. You poor into one of the most important ministries in the church today. You are shaping generations by the work you do. When you love on a child or a student, open the Bible to them and tell them about Jesus, you have the potential to affect every person they ever interact with, the person they marry, the children they have and one day the job they will hold. The influence you can have in that young person’s life is enormous.
Never forget that.