11 Ways to Strengthen Your Church’s Children’s Ministry

By Chuck Lawless

More than one person has said, “Our students and children are the future of the church.” That statement is true, but it’s also insufficient. Children and students are part of the church now, and we’ll lose them if we don’t minister well to them today. Here are eleven ways to strengthen your children’s ministry:

  1. Enlist your best workers for this ministry. Don’t allow just anyone to work with children; find your absolute best, even if it means pulling them out of adult classes.
  2. Train the workers well. Willingness to serve does not automatically equal ability to serve. Enlist your best, and then continually train them. Help them know how to lead children in 2015. The strategies aren’t the same as in the 1980s….
  3. Establish clear security protocols. The bottom line: nobody who hasn’t passed a background check should be working with minors, and wandering through your church’s children’s ministry area without clearance should be almost impossible. Take all steps necessary to protect your children.
  4. Upgrade your facilities for children. Provide sufficient space for them. Make sure every door has a window for security purposes. Purchase furniture that’s appropriate for children. Paint the walls bright colors. Get rid of the clutter. Make your children’s areas a place to which children want to come.
  5. Don’t lower the bar when teaching children. Find the best material, and teach it well. Assume your children want to learn about God. They’re probably more open to it than many of your adults are.
  6. Capitalize on media resources. Our children have grown up with video, computers, and the Internet. To not use strong Christian media-based resources is to miss an opportunity to teach our children well.
  7. Develop a church membership and beginning discipleship class for children. When children choose to follow Christ, the biblical demands on their lives aren’t different than adults. Help them get started well as new believers.
  8. Hang out with the children. If you’re a church staff member, your church’s children need to see you and know you apart from “big church” and the pulpit. Walk through their areas every Sunday. Talk to them. Get to know their names. Listen to their stories. Love them.
  9. Kneel when talking to children. Respect and love them enough to lower yourself to their eye level when speaking to them. Something’s just different when they see us face-to-face.
  10. If you’re a preacher, remember the children in the audience. Use illustrations that appeal to children. Call them to attention occasionally by saying something like, “Boys and girls, let me tell you a story” or “Kids, let me explain this word to you.” If your children are listening, it’s more likely your adults will be, too.
  11. Establish prayer partners with children. Imagine what might happen if assigned people in your church prayed weekly for every child in your ministry. Connect the generations by establishing an intentional plan to do so.

What would you add to this list?

Be sure to check out Dr. Lawless’ daily blog posts at www.chucklawless.com. Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.

Posted on November 5, 2015

Dr. Chuck Lawless is a leading expert in spiritual consultation, discipleship and mentoring. As a former pastor, he understands the challenges ministry presents and works with Church Answers to provide advice and counsel for church leaders.
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  • Daniel mwape says on

    I would love to hear more from you. This is so interesting. I really appreciate for your teachings and really enjoy. More grace in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

  • Hello sevant of God praise Jesus? how is you there ok am happy and was very turched about your good teachings which was help in me and my people here,,so kindly that is why l decited contact you for more teachings and partinership with you pastor,,also l love to welcome you in Kenya Africa to come and visit also to teach us,,in his service pastor Julius and team

  • Thanks Dr. For such a wonderful materia .
    As an outreach children pastor l need this materia to strenthening branches children ministry. May l also ask if there is a special Training for children pastors.
    God richly bless you.

  • Lanre Ejiofor says on

    I would appreciate it you could suggest books,games or activities to keep the children engaged and make whatever theyd learnt stick.

  • Dearly Beloved in Christ, Loving greetings in the Name of our dear Lord and soon coming King Jesus Christ. Grace and peace be unto you by God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ! 
     Please help our mission to serve the persecuted Christian in Pakistan and if possible please allow us to translate your website/material into Urdu and Punjabi language.   
    I am writing to you about my deep needs. Beloved, do not forget that the Most High God is deeply concerned with mercy about my
    present situations, myriad worries, and burdens due to confusion, agonies and pandemics abounding on all sides. Beloved, know that the
    Lord God who is full of goodness will surely wipe away my tears and cause me to know His manifold goodness. Therefore, cling on to the Lord Jesus Christ firmly and rely upon Him alone. I am a 21 year old, Christian by faith, male  from Pakistan. My name is Nabeel Salateen and I was born in Christian family.I have visited your website and it makes me cheer and I would like to contact you about my children ministry in pakistan. I am serving Pakistani Christian community and children to raise them from poverty, make them good chrisitan leaders, who share the word of God in Pakistan.Once, the Lord Jesus while departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, came through the midst of the region of Decapolis. There they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. They begged Him to put His hand on him. Lord Jesus put His fingers in his ears, spat on him, and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, Ephphatha.  Immediately his ears opened, and the impediment of his tongue loosened, and he spoke plainly (Mk 7:31-35). Likewise, the Lord God will take away your struggles and sorrows. In all situations, He will hold your hand and graciously lead you on. Do not worry.  God Bless and be with you and your family.
    May His Grace, Peace, Joy and Love with you and your family. Be of good cheer. Expect with hope, the blessings of the Lord’s goodness that God is going to do for you.Blessings,In Christ’s love,Nabeel Salateen

  • Brother Isaac Odugbemi says on

    God bless Pastor Chuck,
    I am really blessed by that article. The children’s ministry needs a lot of focus, attention as well development. When they are taught in the way they should go, it’s easier to remould them well at the teenage stage if they want to grow astray.
    May God give us more understanding in Jesus name! Thank you.
    I am Brother Isaac Odugbemi from Nigeria.

  • Sarah Agyemang Opoku says on

    I would love if you wouldn’t mind to help us with books that will guide us and books that we will study with the kids

  • carol cox says on

    Good Afternoon Brother Chuck,
    I have been truly encouraged and empowered by the Holy Spirit thus far in reading the information and ideas shared here by you and the response of God’s faithful. I feel so blessed as we are a small group,yet God is so very big in our hearts. This will definitely prove to be very valuable for us. Thank you and Thank God for Jesus Christ and the work we do to his glory!!!

    the best to you and the faithful that God has to offer
    Sincerely Sis. Cox Living Seed Church , Miami, Florida

  • Hello,I’m from Russia,I am engaged in helping children whose parents are alcoholics or drug addicts,and very inspired by your work,I dream to create a club for children,where we could lay in children’s spiritual values and social development,it would be great if you share your experience,we conduct various workshops for children and we lack the means to implement our projects,so if the Lord will arrange your hearts to help us ,we would be happy

  • Dear Brother/ Sister in Christ ,

    Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ ,

    It’s my privilege to have an email with you. I am Edward Qaser from Lahore , Pakistan.

    I am serving the Lord Jesus Christ with Christian based Humanitarian Organization, to glorify His name . Our main focus is reach to unreached with Love of Christ.

    Millions of Non- believer need of knowing about the truth and Love of our Lord Jesus Christ especially the poor people are deprived one. EGM Pakistan is a Humanity base organization and working for the development of the human beings, its major object is to mitigate the effects of poverty, disease , illiteracy and disasters.
    We accomplish this mission by implementing various community based programs ( Projects ) like Empowerment projects , Computer Centers, Sewing Centers, Relief in disasters, Provide food to Poor , Orphan Center, Scholarship for Poor and Needy Students .we have 85 pastors in around Pakistan who are serving in remote and rural areas of Pakistan . we are sharing the word of God in every part of Pakistan ;

    I want to invite you with great love and encouraging words to come to Pakistan , and bring the Good News of Lord Jesus with people of Pakistan.

    May Lord lay burden on your heart for your Pakistani brethren .

    Hope to hear from you as soon as….

    God Bless you

    Edward Qaser ( Executive Director )

    Cell :- +92-300-843-7639

    Office :- +92-423-596-5371


  • Brian Doyle says on

    These are all great ideas and children’s ministry should be done by gifted and passionate Christ followers.

    That said – church based Sunday morning children’s ministry is our idea. It is not God’s idea.

    The downside of exceptional, highly visible children’s ministry is that it often disengages Dad and Mom from their responsibility to disciple their own children. After all – few Dads and Moms would dare to compare themselves with the superstar children’s ministry leaders.

    Here is what I would add to this list AND I would make it the absolute TOP priority:

    1. Begin a comprehensive parenting training program and target the men/dads/grandfathers. Put the pressure on the men to get engaged and then deliver world class training. This by the way is God’s idea. Start with Deut 6. Blessings

  • Great article! We have also found great benefit in striving to make everything purposeful, including the fun stuff. Games, activities, puppet skits, and the like that tie into the Bible teaching can help kids connect better. Another thing that has been very fruitful is giving kids regular opportunities to serve. For the parents, every chance to involve them in ministry and partner with them as they disciple their kids strengthens our ministry, as well as the families involved. Thanks!