by Vicki Noblitt
This month, Orange Leaders takes a look at Sue Miller’s book, Making Your Children’s Ministry the Best Hour of Every Kid’s Week. You can hear more from Sue Miller, live, at the upcoming volunteer training Live to Serve events in San Francisco, Ca., February 8; Grand Rapids, Mich., March 8; Memphis, Tennessee, March 29; as well as The Orange Conference, April 30–May 2 in Atlanta, Ga.
THE “HOW” OF MINISTRY
Chapter 4 – The Big Six: Core Ministry Values to Reach Today’s Kids
If you’re anything like me, assessing the strength of your “core muscles” makes you a bit queasy. Simply put, I haven’t invested the time and effort needed for good results.
Can the same be said for the core values of your children’s ministry? Is your program impaired by the lack of time and effort you’ve invested in them?
A strong mission statement determines WHAT your ministry does. Core values provide the guidelines for HOW you’ll accomplish that mission.
Core values that are clearly communicated to—and understood by—the entire ministry team can be relied upon to filter decisions, shape the culture, provide stability, unify the team, define operational parameters, and maintain ministry consistency and continuity.
Whoa! That’s a pretty good return on the time you’ll invest in making sure you get them exactly right for your situation, your church, your kids.
Sue Miller, the book’s author, is convinced that really great core values are critical to your success.
For additional resources as you formulate or assess your ministry’s core values, do a quick Web search (“children’s ministry core values”). You’ll be rewarded with a host of articles and information from many children’s programs. Your ministry team can sift through the information to find the nuggets you wish to keep for your ministry.
Here’s additional food for thought: As a Human Resources Manager, every organization I’ve ever been associated with has had core values. Of course, these are only words unless the whole team knows, understands, and applies them. The core values were the most integrated throughout every facet of the organization in the company whose values formed the acronym HEART. Yes, this made for cutesy T-shirts, themed internal communications, and even sugar cookies on Valentines Day, but the real value was that everyone—EVERYONE—in the organization knew them. It made all the difference. Once you’ve settled upon the core values for your ministry, determine if they form an acronym or attempt to arrange them in a way that is easy for your team to remember.
THE WINNING COMBINATION
Chapter 5 – Large Groups, Small Groups, Big People: So, What Does Sunday Morning Look Like?
It’s Winter Olympics time and it seems to me that all of the interviews and sports commentary are trying to determine one thing: What’s the winning strategy? Is there some combination of training/diet/coaching that leads to gold-medal perfection?
Similarly, what is your ministry strategy? What combination of curriculum, programming and people will you employ to maximize your ministry’s potential? Give consideration to the following:
- “Volunteers who feel ministered to will have stronger hearts to care for kids.”
- Start strong, beginning with the first moment a child enters your environment.
- Frequent changes keeps things fresh.
- “Play with a purpose.”
- Every child needs a place to belong.
- Your ministry will succeed when the right people are in the right places.
- The right curriculum is crucial.
- Connect with every child’s learning style.
- Rely on God to bring it all together.
Does an assessment of your ministry’s core values make you queasy?
Does your entire ministry team know your core values? If not, is there value in determining if they can be arranged in a way to make them more memorable?
Is your ministry strategy medal-worthy or missing the mark?
Though born in the Midwest, Vicki Noblitt resides in Atlanta, considers herself Southern, and firmly believes iced tea should be sweet. She is paid to be a Human Resources Manager, but her favorite roles are voluntary: wife, mom, grandmother, and Children’s Ministry Coach.