Fall is quickly approaching, and summer is soon coming to an end. New schedules and rhythms will fill our calendars, and kids are gearing up for a new school year. That also means more kids and families will be coming back to church! Are you ready? Ready or not, kids are coming back soon!
For more than a year, we have faced fears, anxieties, and “new normals” as we navigate this ever-changing, uncertain world. We need to move forward with confidence knowing that God is with us every step of the way. It can be so easy to allow fear, doubts, and frustrations to blur our vision and cause us to lose our focus on Him. My verse for this year is Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—” We must remember it is God working in and through us. We must trust that God is all powerful, sovereign, and good. We must set our eyes on Him.
If we are all honest, I think we have all had days (maybe even weeks and months!) in ministry when we just wanted to quit. The challenges in ministry can be overwhelming and exhausting. But God is there. He gently lifts us up and fills us. So on days when you are struggling and want to throw in the towel, I want to encourage you with a few truths God has given me.
Encouraging Truths for This Season
Remain In Him.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” – John 15:5
During difficult days of ministry, we are called to cling to the One who created and called us. We must remember that He is the vine, and we can do nothing without Him. I think God allows these difficult days to remind us we need to stay connected with Him.
Devote to Prayer.
“Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, so that I may make it known as I should.” – Colossians 4:2-4
On days when we want to quit, days that our attitudes are nosediving south, those are the days we might neglect to pray. We must devote ourselves to prayer daily and continually. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom as you lead. Remember, this is His ministry, and you are the vessel He is using to reach these kids and families.
Don’t Do It Alone.
“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
God reminds us that we are not created to live alone–He has given us to each other. Surround yourself with people who can encourage and pray for you when the days are tough. Ask for help. Asking for help does not show weakness; it shows wisdom.
Remember: What You Do Matters.
“Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24
We have the amazing opportunity to impact kids’ lives for eternity. Spend some time today praying, asking God to give you wisdom to lead, strength to keep going, and the will to give your all for His glory. Remember what we do every day really does matter!
Resetting Kids Ministry
Once you have spent time alone with God, it is now time to get READY, RESET, and GO!
The Lifeway Kids team has created an eBook called 6 Considerations for Reopening Your Kids Ministry to help you as you plan and prepare for the year ahead. This helpful resource walks you through key areas of consideration around strategy, environments, resources, policies, volunteers, and communication.
The Lifeway Kids team also created another eBook called 10 Attributes of an Unshakable Kids Ministry. This resource helps build your kids ministry on an unshakable foundation. The areas we identified are: Family Focused, Missionally Minded, Not Limited by Location, Driven by Vision, Relationally Strong, Kid-Engaging, Age Aware, Trustworthy Teaching, Volunteer Honoring, and Characterized by Confidence.
You have prayed and prayed some more. You have prepared and planned as well as evaluated your ministry. It is now time to take action and go! Some churches are relaunching kids ministry after shutting down during the pandemic, some churches have been meeting for a while now but are promoting kids to new classrooms, and some may be looking for an outreach event to reach out to the community. Lifeway Kids has created a free Go Time Kit that contains activity ideas, invitations, and promotional materials. More information can be found here.
We are beyond grateful that you continue to invest your time into the kids in your church and community, and we can’t wait to hear stories about how God moves through this year with your kids. We are praying for you!