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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Guest Blog: Shane Hood

Hello, I am Shane Hood the Children’s Ministry Director at People's Church. My wife and I have been attending People’s Church since October of 2002. I joined the staff in January of 2003 and completed my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in May of 2003. When we began leading the Children’s Ministry, the church was running about 150 in total attendance with around 40 kids, and this fall we expect to reach 2000 in total attendance with over 400 kids. My responsibility is to oversee the leadership, volunteers, curriculum and room experiences for kids birth to 5th grade. I will be sharing with you ideas to grow your Children’s Ministry with a growing church. Here are two basics that every Children’s Ministry must have.

Create an Experience
The greatest gift you have is a lasting impression. With the resources you have available to you, create the most exciting and entertaining experience you possibly can. We have very simple environments set up but use our volunteers and space wisely. Choose a curriculum that fits your group. Make sure it is properly prepared and set-up. Look at each room and kids area from a first-time guest perspective. Does a guest know where to go? Do the environments look safe and fun? Are the age ranges appropriate for all the kids to be engaged? Always remember, kids care less about the environment and more about the experience they have!

Volunteers Make It Happen
The only way to grow a ministry is to have others around. Before you allow any volunteer to serve in your ministry, you MUST do a background check. There are multiple agencies available that can screen your volunteers for Sexual Offenders to Speeding Tickets. Screening Volunteers provides safety for the kids foremost, as well as, covers the church for liability risk. Once a volunteer passes a background check and joins your ministry, you must care for and appreciate them. Training is the key to creating a great experience for kids. Volunteers need to know: What do they need to do? When do they do it? Where are they supposed to be? Why are they doing it? The greatest impact for training a volunteer is explaining the why. The why will bring them back again and again!

Have a great day!