How to Have a Healthy Children’s Ministry?

This is a guest post by Greg Baird. Greg is founder of KidMin360. help churches build great children’s & family ministry. His passion is to assist children’s & family leaders to serve kids, parents, volunteers, staff & other leaders to their full capacity. Greg’s experience is gained over 20 years as a children’s pastor.

Here is Greg’s post:

How To Have A Healthy Children’s Ministry

Effective Children’s Ministry is critical to a healthy church. It impacts the church in all directions. Virtually everyone in the church is linked to Children’s Ministry in some way or another. Parents often judge their commitment (and attendance!) to the church based on whether their kids like the Children’s Ministry. And, of course, we all know the spiritual impact that can be made in the lives of children.

So how do we create healthy Children’s Ministry? Every church is different, every ministry unique, and it takes far more than a blog post to answer that question. However, here’s the framework of a model that I’ve found applies to each environment I’ve ever associated with over the past 25 years:

1. Establish a strong foundation. Focus on:

  • Vision that is effectively aligned with the overall vision of the church.
  • A commitment to strong leadership, not just functional administration.

2. Evaluate as a matter of habit. Focus on:

  • Systems, structures & processes that empower leaders.
  • Creating avenues of communication between staff & within Children’s Ministry.

3. Embrace spiritual formation. Focus on: 

  • Creating a purposeful plan beginning at birth.
  • The centrality of the Gospel in all teaching.

4. Equip others to do the work of the ministry. Focus on:

  • Equipping parents to disciple their own children.
  • Developing leaders (not just followers) to assume responsibility for ministry.

5. Engage children for life change. Focus on:

  • Environments that capture their imagination.
  • Methods that capture their heart.

Is it simple? Yes. Is it easy? No. Children’s Ministry is the single most complex department in the church. No other ministry reaches or involves so many individuals or impacts so many other departments, targets such a broad audience developmentally, requires such intense oversight, or is liable for so many risks.

But no other ministry can spiritually impact at any deeper level than children’s ministry. The spiritual outlook of a person is formed in the early years, and studies show that 85% of those who accept Christ will do so between the ages of 4 & 14.

A healthy Children’s Ministry is critical to a healthy church.

What would you add for creating healthy Children’s Ministry?

For more help with children’s ministry, in the areas of staffing, coaching, training, development or resources, check out the KidMin360.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “How to Have a Healthy Children’s Ministry?

  1. Madison Area Friends of Piano is a coalition of piano dealers, teachers and tuner-technicians whose sole purpose is to promote the benefits of playing the piano.

  2. A very Effective Children’s Ministry is critical to a healthy church. It impacts the church in all directions. Virtually everyone in the church is linked to Children’s Ministry in some way or another. We all know the spiritual impact that can be made in the lives of children. Thanks for valuable information…

  3. Greg, you are right that a healthy children's ministry is central to church health. I agree with your framework too. Where I've seen churches struggle is with #1 – either not having a vision or only a few of the top leaders know about the vision. __Your #3 – an intentional spiritual formation plan across the lifespan – could make ministry more effective, help bridge across the generations, and turn the tide of youth walking away. In my research into the spiritual lives of children, teens and adults, I've seen over and over how many struggle in young adulthood. Ministry with a developmental perspective can help prepare youth as they make their faith own.__Thanks for the great post!__

  4. Thanks Greg for the awesome ideas. We can ignore children's ministry only at our own peril. In my experience, I have seen that some church neglect children's ministry (simply because they are not the 'givers' group in the church). In my view, it crucial to develop effective and active children's ministry to build a God-fearing future generation.