For children’s ministry leaders, the days are often long, but never boring. Every day can be an adventure. In the busyness of ministry, there are four foundational ingredients to a successful children’s ministry that cannot be overlooked.
Children’s ministry leaders teach in many different ways. We tell stories, plan application activities, lead worship and pray. We develop learning environments that are attractive, clean and safe. We model for other leaders what we want children to know and believe and best practices for making that happen. We teach through conversations and well-crafted questions about the things of God. Teaching is crucial to disciple-making and is a skill and, at times, an art that can be improved and developed.
A critical part of children’s ministry that can be easily lost in the day-to-day drive toward Sunday is equipping our leaders and parents. Equipping is teaching and preparing others to do the work of disciple-making in the classroom and home. Equipping can be exponential in scope and biblical in purpose. Equipping others well for ministry often comes as a result of our own experience of being equipped well by others.
Without love our words and actions are like “a resounding gong or clanging cymbal” that the apostle Paul described in 1 Corinthians 13:1. We must work from a place of love for God or our work is in vain. How we model, teach and demonstrate that love to others can speak more loudly than any words we will ever utter. As a leader, do your fellow teachers, leaders, parents and children know of your love for them?
As a leader, you set the tone for ministry. You are in a position to motivate, encourage, build enthusiasm and anchor the ministry with your obvious love for God and His people. Your confidence in your own leadership skills can be developed through what you read and learn. Conferences are a great way to learn and reinforce leadership skills. Work with your pastor and church to budget for your continuing education in the area of leadership. This investment by your church will pay dividends in the years to come.
Taken together, the first letters of each of these characteristics form the word “TELL,” which is the theme of a new conference for children’s ministry leaders scheduled for the spring of 2019. The TELL Children’s Ministry Conference is designed for anyone who works in children’s ministry at your church and will focus on teaching, equipping, leading and loving through keynote addresses and a variety of breakout session offerings.
Bill Emeott, children’s ministry specialist from LifeWay Christian Resources, will serve as the keynote speaker and lead some of the breakout sessions. Breakout sessions will cover topics such as teacher training, ministering to children with special needs and their families, reaching Generation Z, engaging millennial parents, Vacation Bible School and more.
The TELL conference will be held in two locations on two different dates —Saturday, March 30 in Hickory, N.C., and Saturday, April 27 in Apex, N.C. To learn more about the TELL conference, visit ncbaptist.org/tell and register to join us at the location nearest you.
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