Kids Ministry. Love it or hate it?
It’s Monday and I’m tired. Of course I hate it!
Just kidding. I love kids ministry because of how challenging it is. It’s never the same thing. There’s always a new idea or trend and you really have to stay current. And it’s A LOT of fun.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your Kids Ministry!
I’m married to a really lucky guy named Clive, and I have three kids – Kaitlyn, Darren and Daniel. I’ve been the Children’s Pastor at Woodvale in Ottawa Ontario for almost 16 years. It’s one of the largest churches in the city and we run our kid’s ministry during both of our two Sunday morning services. We have about 270 kids on a Sunday. Our church also has a pre-school pastor that works with me, and we run a day-camp all summer, as well as a weekend VBS once a year. We also have a mid-week outreach program.
We do our best to be very outreach oriented. We like to do things in the community that are very no-strings attached and are focused on serving. Our question is…If we weren’t there all of a sudden, would anyone notice?
We also focus on getting our kids serving in our church and ministry. When a child shows an interest in helping out, we assign them a job and give them an opportunity to serve. It’s usually around age ten when we see that shift from just consuming to wanting to serve.
What is something that you have learned over the past year or so?
I just did a seminar on teaching recently about how to make your lessons come alive and be more effective. In teaching that seminar, one thing that I’ve learned about children is that they DO NOT CHANGE. Tech changes, trends change, but children will ALWAYS gravitate towards a well-told story, and something that is creative. And they always want attention. And they have a desire to know that they are listened to and taken seriously.
The other thing that I’ve learned is that the children’s pastor is called to be a support to the parents. Children need to learn how to serve God next to parents. Our church went to a model where kids are out of the service all of the time, and that’s not really biblical. So, on the first Sunday of the month, we do what we call a “Unite Service”, where we do a service that takes into account that kids are in the room. It’s more illustrative… kids are involved in worship… they read scripture… they pray. No one says, “It’s nice to have the kids participating in our service this morning”. It’s an atmosphere where kids can grow up and assume that they can participate in church. People really look forward to it because all generations are represented.
Know of any good resources?
Yes! I use a website called “Download youth ministries”. You pay a monthly fee but it gets you really top quality interactive screen games.
What can we expect at Kids Rock Camp this summer?
Expect to hear the Word in a fun and creative way. Expect to laugh. Expect to have lots of fun!