Keeping kids interested in studying isn’t easy – this goes for school as well as kids’ church. However, by making Sunday mornings fun and engaging, you’ll be able to attract kids to your ministry. We’ve listed a few tips to help you create a children’s ministry kids want to attend.
1. An Engaging Space
A colorful, engaging space immediately appears inviting and fun and goes a long way in attracting children to ministry. Whatever your decoration ideas are, make sure to connect them in some way to the message you are trying to share.
For example, when coming up with different themes - a treehouse, ship, or rainforest - add ways of helping the kids grow spiritually by incorporating posters of Bible verses. Use props that match the theme and point back to the message you are sharing that week.
2. Make It Fun!
Above all, kids want to have fun. If you lecture them the same way they are taught in school, they may lose interest. So, your primary goal for your kids’ ministry should be to teach God’s Word in a way that the little ones can digest.
The kids are not showing up to be spiritually fed; they want to have a good time. Each week, look at what you have planned and make sure it is what the kids need in terms of spiritual lessons, disguised as what they want - fun.
You can find many games online or learn from other ministry leaders what works well for them to get kids to engage and enjoy their Sunday School. When you play games and do crafts, use the lessons to reinforce an atmosphere that makes kids look forward to church. Additionally, play music regularly and let the kids sing or play their instruments. Worship songs are a great way to get kids engaged, regardless of their age.
3. Be Prepared
Leaders who aren’t prepared can’t expect followers to be engaged. Even if you have a beautifully decorated space, your Sunday School won’t succeed without a plan for your ministry. Study for your weekly sessions and plan a healthy mix of lessons and fun ahead.
Know where you are going and never stand in front of your class without knowing how to proceed; in other words: don’t just make it up as you go. When everything is organized beforehand, you will feel at ease, and your kids will stay engaged.
4. Use Age-Specific Classrooms
To children, a few years can make a big difference. Therefore it’s best to organize kids by age and divide them into groups, for example, 0-2.5 years, 2.5-4 years, 4-5 years, and grades 1-5, etc. If your church is small and doesn’t have many kids attending, the age spread may be more significant. Also, choose your age groups based on facility and volunteer availability.
5. Provide Inspiration
One of the best ways to ensure that children are enjoying their ministry is by inspiring them. Take a look around at your leadership and volunteers and make sure that the person overseeing the children’s ministry has a passion for the kids, a gift for leading, and a strong commitment to the church. Together, with this leader, you can create a process to inspire and develop other children’s ministry workers to do the same.
By allowing this leadership influence to flow through all areas of kids’ ministry and constantly having a succession plan for the next leader, the kids in the church are sure to enjoy their time each Sunday morning.
6. Use a Great Curriculum
When you come prepared by developing and using a great curriculum - essentially, the kids’ weekly lesson plan - your odds of getting kids engaged and excited about ministry improve. If you haven’t written your curriculum yet and are still looking for ideas, you can find many great ideas online. It’s important to ensure that kids don’t get bored during ministry, and you can achieve that by including games, skits, videos, and activities.
A curriculum we highly recommend is Orange Curriculum, which is designed for preschool students. This program focuses on setting your little ones up for a lifetime of faith. Using a combination of developmental biblical learning and intentional love, the curriculum will ensure that your preschooler embraces the fact that God made and loves us all. Still supporting the parent-child focus, this kids ministry curriculum will connect parents to a specific ministry specialist, providing support when needed.
7. A Take-Home Element
Each time kids’ ministry is over, kids should be leaving church with some homework, a visual reminder, or something to help them focus on what they learned. This helps children learn about Jesus in a new way, and inspires them to spend the week reminiscing on what they learned about in their last lesson, as well as prepares them for their upcoming ministry. This take-home element can be an art project, a children's ministry resource, or even a song that supports the lesson for the week.
When leading a weekly kids’ ministry, make sure to plan before you preach. Figure out an engaging curriculum infused with fun and games, skits, and videos, without losing sight of the lessons you want to share, and soon enough, you’ll have a kids' church that your students will love and want to participate in each Sunday.