Starting from scratch, to be there at the beginning of a journey, with nothing yet formed. What an exciting and yet terrifying idea! Building a children’s ministry team from scratch is far from easy, but is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Almost three years ago I was invited to be part of planting Hillsong Perth, to lead the children’s ministry and build a team. It has been the most incredible experience and has taught me so much. I remember spending a great deal of time at the beginning asking myself, “What should I focus on? How do I get this started?”. Perhaps you’re in a similar situation, here’s a few things that helped me. (As it turns out, the things you focus on at the beginning you never really graduate from.)
1. Relationship is everything
Relationship is everything and relationships come first. The key to any thriving and
growing team are the relationships between one another. Our volunteers are amazing, they give their time, energy and prayers to see the next generation discipled, encouraged and believed in. My belief is that this experience won’t just result in children’s lives being changed for the better, but for our volunteers to grow too. That they would get more out of the volunteer experience than they put in, more community, more skills and a deeper relationship with God. As leaders of teams big and small, building relationships with and investing into those around us never ceases to be our focus. Thank the people on your team for what they do, take them out for a meal, let them know how much you value them.
2. Be generous with your time
“We are all in this together!” This phrase never rings more true than when you are
starting something from scratch. Whether a part of the youth ministry, young adults ministry, kids ministry or the creative team, we’re all working together, we’re all in the same boat, doing whatever we can to see church grow. We can sometimes feel that all our time and attention must be directed solely to our area of responsibility, after all that’s what we are responsible for. However, what I’ve found is that as we are generous towards other ministries with our time, all areas of church life flourish.
3. Be involved
Early on I had been finding it difficult to meet new young adults and potential leaders on Sunday, as I was often in the children’s programs for the whole service. I made a decision to always attend our midweek young adults meetings and help out wherever I could. I found I was able to meet far more people than I had before, which not only resulted in more people joining the kids team, but it helped to position the children’s ministry as something central to our church.
Starting from scratch is difficult, but to see a team come together where there was no team before makes it so worth it. The lessons I learned in this season will be forever valuable.