The beginning of a new year finds lots of us in children’s ministry taking inventory of what was successful and what wasn’t! From worship and learning, to crafts and connecting with each other, now is the time to get take a good honest look at the past and do even better in the coming year. A great place to start is to check in with parents, kids, and volunteers for feedback on the past year’s children’s ministry activities.
Hang on to the familiar things that engage children and families, and do what you can to make them even better. If the craft project is great, but only half of the colored markers work, maybe it is time to buy some new markers. And then organize a service project where the children invite the congregation to donate school supplies for a local school. If you have a hard time getting volunteers to show up on time, maybe you need to invite them to help with set up 15 minutes before the scheduled activity so they will be there when the children arrive. If you are doing distance learning, what can you do to “close” the distance and help kids feel connected to each other?
Repair or get rid of some things. Broken rhythm instruments, bottles of glue that have dried up, and angel costumes with grape juice stains need to go. Get rid of items in the storage closet that have been there for years and have never been used OR resurrect and use them—those flannel felt-board stories may be old, but they may be a new way to teach children the Bible stories in 2021!
And finally, plan some new things. In Isaiah 43:19 God say, “Behold, I will do a new thing.” As we plan new activities for learning the promises of God and the stories of God’s people, we can be confident that God is already on the move doing new things in the hearts and lives of the children in our faith communities . . . we just have to try and catch up!