Summertime ministry to children is touch and go. Outside of big events like VBS, regular weekly attendance can wane during the summer months in the children’s ministry. Kids go on family vacations, head to summer camps and focus on play rather than worship. Meanwhile, nervous children’s ministry leaders anxiously await the return of their children knowing that a few will not make it back. Kids make new friends and sometimes visit other churches. Sometimes get out the habit of attending church and find it difficult to come back. In return, we pray over kids and feel somewhat helpless until the summer hubbub ends.
This year, refuse to take a step back in your ministry. Summer should not put you on the defense. Take your ministry on the offense, metaphorically speaking, of course. Forget hanging back at the church while the summer passes you by. Get out where the kids are and spend your summer connecting rather than disconnecting from your group. Try these tips for summertime ministry to children.
Snack Visits – Collect the addresses of children before summer arrives. From the addresses, gather children together in neighborhood groups. Before school is out, announce to children you will be stopping by in summer for snack visits. Ask kids to tell you their favorite snacks and drinks. You might hand out a form for kids to fill out. Visit kids by neighborhood will school lets out. Call ahead of course and get parent’s permission to visit. Show up with snacks and some outdoor play with kids. Bring bubble wands and chalk for playtime. Keep visits short about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Visit each kid in your predetermined neighborhood. Visit the neighborhood weekly or biweekly according to your schedule. Collect prayer requests, pray for kids and have fun. You might assign different neighborhoods to different days of the week. Involve your staff in these trips, but stay involved yourself.
Go Virtual – Create an interactive email newsletter for kids. On the other hand, if you are technologically challenged as many of us are, just send an email. Include simple polls so kids will respond and interact with you. Vary questions from spiritual to silly. Some good questions are “What is your favorite Kool-Aid flavor?” or “Which is your favorite book of the Bible- Genesis or Matthew?” Make announcements in your newsletter advertising fun weekly themes in your children’s ministry. Include photographs of your kids or your family enjoying summer activities.
Facebook – Start a Facebook page. Give your page a fun name and invite kids and parents to join. Add pictures and post a kid-friendly spiritual message daily.
No matter how you do it, don’t let this important time slip by. Get out of the office and back into the children’s ministry field this summer. When summer is gone, you will have a spiritual harvest of excited kids who love Jesus!