Kids can’t drive but they still hold a tremendous influence over parents that do. When kids are motivated to attend church there is no stopping them. So short of an expensive, time-consuming event what is a children’s pastor to do? Start by motivating the group that you already have. Strengthen your base with ministry segments that will keep kids coming back for more.
The weekly challenge: Besides announcing it, I also put a weekly challenge in our newsletter. Some challenge ideas I’ve used previously range between bringing a canned food donation to filling out a prayer request card. Kids have to come back the following week to earn Bible Bucks or earn a special prize. I introduce the challenge at the beginning and end of the service.
Jesus talk: I call this segment, “Talk to me about Jesus.” This 2 to 5 minute segment focuses on introducing kids to one of Jesus’ specific characteristics or teachings. Sometimes our Jesus talk isn’t even related to our lesson. I usually draw the kids close and I tell them something about the Lord, like how deeply he loves children, about the time he visited Paul or what he might look like. I find kids love this segment and it really motivates them to attend.
Kid of the week: Before kids leave, I snap photos of smiling attendees with my iPhone. I upload it to my laptop and “voila!” I’ve got the kid of the week. When kids arrive at kids’ church, they can see the Kid of the Week on our television monitor and in the newsletter. They love coming to see who the Kid of the Week is!
Kids’ event video: I’m no high-tech guru but I do have a great video camera. I’ve got a few volunteers who don’t mind dressing up in wacky costumes and building excitement for upcoming events. We roll tape, about one to two minutes, and tell kids what we have planned. Sometimes we keep things mysterious to build up real excitement!
Video interviews: This is just an expanded version of the Kid of the Week. In our interview, we ask kids questions like, “What’s your favorite bible story?” or “Who’s your favorite bible character?” We put our interviews on our Facebook page (with parental permission, of course) and load them on our television.
I hope you find these ministry segments motivational for your children!