In Uptown our Be Attitudes are:
1. BE SAFE
2. BE COURTEOUS
3. BE ENGAGING
4. BE CONSISTENT
Our next be attitude is be engaging. This is one of the big ones for me. Most children’s ministries have the safe thing in mind and are courteous. Being engaging puts you in a totally different ballpark. I know in our kids ministry engagement is something I really want to see.
A couple of years ago we redid our kids wing (plug JMC, plug worlds of wow). I realized one thing early on themeing your kids wing is great but engagement is better. I want to change the way we do church in our kids ministry and in other kids ministries across the nation. I think we need to engage kids from the moment they step foot on our campus’.
As children’s workers we need to look beyond our children’s ministry culture at times to see how we are limiting our selves by what has always been done. We need to pray and ask God to open our eyes and ears to see what we are doing that we may think is great but is not engaging the kids we are seeking to reach with the greatest message on earth.
What we are not doing. Putting all our time and effort into one or two big events. What if rather than having 5 nights of VBS you made every weekend like VBS? Large events create a bait and switch situation where they experience this crazy awesome, budget busting event only to come back next sunday to a marginal experience. We have huge cool events and sunday is a drag. Stop it. Take the money you would use on events, get the volunteers to commit to make Sunday the best.
What we are doing.
We are implementing the following formula if you will.
1. Everyone connects with kids all the time.
2. We have a pre-service show – Connect with kids through characters and activities. (We are still working on this one)
3. Main service. We make the Bible story and small group time, relational with kids connecting to their leader and each other.
4. We have a post-service show. Connect with kids and parents through character performances, give-aways, and one-on-one interaction.
5. At the end of the day each volunteer needs to have a name and a face of a kid whose life they impacted through intentional engagement.
Eye contact, knowing a kiddos name, candy, and creative planning go a long way to engaging kids on their level.
I am by no means suggesting that you should do what we are attempting to do. But I will say this, Whatever you do BE ENGAGING. Make it fun, make it memorable, make it stick. As Sue Miller would say “Make it the best hour of their week.”