Children’s Ministry Directors: Getting Young Kids Excited About Church
Being a children’s pastor can be an incredibly enriching job (if you’re the right kind of person that is!) Kids are full of energy, and it’s such an important time of their life developmentally. Being a part of their journey means a lot to them and can be very fulfilling to watch them develop as they grow up.
But anyone who works with kids knows there are pros and cons to the job. While kids are energetic, happy, and exciting to be leading on a weekly basis, we all know a few kids who are difficult to get the attention of and perhaps even difficult to engage with.
If you’re struggling with getting young kids excited about learning at church and engaging with the children’s ministry, here are some things to keep in mind!
Children’s Pastors: Getting Young Kids Excited About Church
We all know that kids are difficult to predict, and if some of your children’s ministry students aren’t excited about church, it’s not your fault! There are always some things that will be out of your control. But as you are directing the children’s ministry, these are a few things you can keep in mind to get young kids excited about church:
Have Activities for All Personalities
Some kids who may appear to be disengaged and unexcited about church may actually just be introverted and shy. You probably already know that after working with so many kids, but sometimes children’s ministry directors forget to keep a variety of available activities every Sunday.
You may be teaching the kids a new dance to a worship song on a Sunday, or playing a new group game, but I’d encourage you to always have extra activities available each Sunday for students who are disinterested in those. Even if it means having another leader work on arts and crafts with a student or small group of students, having activities that meet kids of all personalities where they’re at will make them all so much more excited about coming to church.
Tackle Small Bits of Scripture at a Time
Most kids have a small attention span and you know it! Of course, children’s ministry isn’t just a place for them to come and mess around – it’s a place for them to encounter God and learn more about Him on Sunday morning. But that can be tough when kids show up seemingly running on 7 cups of coffee and a pound of sugar.
The answer? Tackle small bits of scripture with them each Sunday. Don’t even try to teach the story of Noah’s ark in one or two weeks. Make a theme out of it for a month or two! One or two Sunday’s talk about the building of the ark. Include activities with coloring books of Noah, children’s songs if you can find them, and other relevant activities. After a few weeks, transition to talking about the next phase(s) of the story, etc.
It’s hard to pack a ton of information at once into activities, but kids retain so much more from hands-on stuff like this. If you give them a theme for a month or more where you take small bits of scripture or Bible stories and put them into small children’s activities, they’ll have fun with everything, retain more, and be more excited to come each Sunday and learn about God.
Connect Their Week to What They’re Learning
Kids are observant, and they’re constantly making connections between what they’re seeing and learning in life. Sunday morning is a great time to connect the dots between the stories or messages they’re hearing and their everyday lives!
Kids are in school, they have siblings, they have parents/guardians, they have interests, they play games, etc. There are so many things you can draw parallels between in their daily lives and scripture, and the more you do that, the more conditioned they will be to make those connections on their own and to look for them every day. As they discover those things, it in turn makes them more excited about coming to church and learning.
Being a children’s pastor is a lot of fun, but it can be a lot of work. You probably have a ton of kids who are already fully engaged on Sunday mornings, but for those kids who you’re struggling to keep engaged and excited about church, make sure you’re trying the following.
Have activities for kids of all personalities on Sunday mornings! While you may all be learning a dance or doing a group activity, have coloring books or other stations set up for shy kids who aren’t enjoying the activities. Use those activities to tackle small bits of scripture over a longer period of time, and connect what they’re learning on Sunday to the rest of their week. It gets kids excited about church and makes them more eager to learn each Sunday!
About the Author
Chris Fleming is a professional musician from Minneapolis, MN who has played with artists such as Big Daddy Weave and Jason Gray. He is actively involved with the CCM worship scene and has contributed as a drummer, music director, song writer, and producer for various worship artists and churches locally and nationally. Chris serves as the Creative Director at Motion Worship, helping to write various blog posts and tutorials on production, stage, Ableton, music, design, and tons of other topics.