I’m pretty sure most people expect to find a giant rubber ball, parachute or costumes on my list but alas, those items didn’t make the cut. (Although we do love toys/props/unique tools for ministry!) As a children’s minister I can’t help but get creative—I work with kids but there are some things I actually do need.
As a children’s ministry lifer, (over eighteen years now) there’s a big difference between the things I want and the things I really need. For instance, did I really need a nine-foot tall paper mache dinosaur for our “Digging Up the Truth” kids crusade? Nope. Did I need a small army to man the fossil digs, the dino egg toss and the two nights of off-the-chain evangelism? Yep. You get what I need. Unless you want me tired, bored or burnt out, I need the basics—not the extras. Everything else is extra—no matter what I tell you.
In my experience, these are the four things I absolutely need:
Reliable equipment. I appreciate the extra VCRs and the secondhand televisions, but if they don’t work or only work part time, I can’t use them. Please help me minister to kids—with reliable equipment. (By the way, it’s hard to find culturally relevant VHS tapes.)
Ministry support. Like any other minister, I need someone I can talk to. I need growth opportunities and have a need to be loved and accepted for who I am among my peers. Please include me in the grown up activities. It helps me when I connect with you.
Curriculum I love. Children’s ministry teachers don’t mind re-using material but it helps when I love it. If I offer curriculum suggestions, please consider them. I love teaching with materials that suit my teaching style and my unique group of children and helpers.
Willing hands. I do act like a superhero sometimes but the truth is, I’m just one person. Please help me find willing hands for the ministry. It helps when you recommend volunteers and actively support me with your kind words to others who might be interested in helping out.
Okay, one more thing I might need occasionally—a reality check. For example, completing transforming the church for a VBS to look like the inside of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory may not be practical but don’t crush my spirit. Just remind me that we have no Oompa-Loompas on staff. Thanks.
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.