7 Tips For Better Communication In Children's Ministry

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What time does the program start?
When was that registration deadline?
Do you have a class for my 4 year old?
These questions bombard children’s ministry leaders every Sunday. In every size and type of congregation, communication is a challenge. If you are like me, you may be tempted to complain. You may want to blame the parents in your church for being absent minded.
That is the wrong approach.
As leaders in children’s ministry, we must take responsibility for getting our message across. Communication is our job. It is one way we serve the busy families in our church. Patiently repeating yourself is near the heart of ministry; just remember Jesus and his slow-to-hear disciples.
Here are seven practical tips to help you get the message across. You can share your own tips at the bottom of this page.

7 Tips For Children’s Ministry Communication

1. Make a plan. The first step is to decide how you will communicate and put that plan into writing. This should include the important details, the intended receivers, the methods, and the timing. If needed, you can also note who is responsible for each step.
2. Be Redundant. People are often distracted, so they need to hear your message more than once. This is especially true with Sunday morning announcements in the church service.
3. Say it many ways. Use as many communication channels as appropriate. This may include a church newsletter, Sunday bulletin, email, church website, Facebook, phone tree, postcards, handouts, and face-to-face reminders.
4. Be Creative. Boring stuff is easy to forget. So, think of funny or unique ways to present your message. For example, you could have a young child announce your event instead of the regular person.
5. Avoid Overkill. Most people will only hear the minimum details they need to take action. They do not need to know everything, just the basic “who, what, where, why, and when.”
6. Be Selective. You do not need to announce every event. If you have a meeting for five people, just make the phone calls. Every time you announce something irrelevant, people learn to tune you out.
7. Evaluate. Make note of any questions people keep asking. If one person asks, usually others are wondering the same thing. Make sure that you answer it for everyone next time.

For more on this topic, read this blog post from Jeff McClung on the secrets of powerful communication. You might also enjoy Jenny’s 6 tactics for communication that works.

Sample Communication Plan For Kids Ministry

Here is a sample communication plan I am using at my church. The actions in parentheses are action steps for me. This example is more than I would normally plan, except it is a different meeting time than last year.
Event: Fall Children’s Choir
When: Begins Sunday 30 August at 6 PM
Who: Kindergarten – 5th Grade
Target Receivers: Whole congregation and especially parents

  • Add to Church Calendar (already done during planning)
  • Sunday Bulletin Note (send email to church secretary)
  • Add to Announcement PowerPoint (email church secretary)
  • Verbal Pulpit Announcements (send email to Pastor)
  • Announce In Children’s Church (note on lesson plan)
  • Church Newsletter Note (send email to church secretary)
  • Verbal Announcements at Church Soccer League (note to self on introductions print off)
  • Verbal Announcements in Parents Sunday School (note to self)
  • Phone Calls (print off phone numbers for Nancy to call)
  • Face-to-Face With New Members (Jones, O’Brien, Smith)
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