Better PRESENTATIONS can AMPLIFY what matters, but DEEPER RELATIONSHIPS can SOLIDIFY what matters. – Reggie Joiner
Yes, a flashy set, lots of props, bright lights might make a bigger ‘noise’ but, the greatest resource you have – is you & your leaders.
What is your biggest need you have right now in running your ministry?
Inside the box: you’re blind, vision is stifled, it’s average because it’s limited, it’s the enemy of greatness, thinking inside the box stops and constrains us.
Gen 1:27 So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female
We have a God of creativity. He created everything and created you and me. If we are created in His image then we have that creativity too.
“Act like God is bigger than you, your church, your family, your faith, your perspective, your Bible, your world” -Reggie Joiner.
Yes, have a vision, have a BIG dream, but let God worry about that – He gave you the vision for it in the first place! Think about the next ‘one step’ you can take that will just move you a little way from where you are right now, but move you in the right direction. What and who can you use around you, right now? PEOPLE are your biggest free resource.
I promise you will have hidden talents in your church. People who don’t want to work ‘with’ children but who have a vision for seeing kids love Jesus more. Maybe the retired couple who used to serve in kids work – they can sew/woodwork… the full time mum who can’t commit to Sundays but will paint boards, wrap boxes, make a set! Enlist some ‘grandmas & granddads’ of your church to pray, how awesome for them to hear that a child they’ve been praying for has given their life to Jesus – and how awesome for you to have a praying team behind all that you are doing!
But how do you inspire this great, free resource to get involved? Cast a vision – if you don’t know where you’re going you’ll never get there. Maybe you lack people – who doesn’t?! Don’t be afraid to be specific. If your ‘ask’ is vague – who will want to get involved in that? People want to be part of something meaningful – so ask them something meaningful!
We used to run Sunday School, children would be in for the first part of the service then leave when the offering was taken. We had volunteers who generally served once a month. As the church grew it became very apparent that children were not engaged in worship – it wasn’t age appropriate for them. Also, adults were not engaged because they were trying to manage their children. So we started to the process of moving towards the children having their own service – yes a huge step, but we started moving in the right direction. Firstly we shared the vision with the leadership, then the existing team, then across the church – people got on board and gave themselves – this huge, unused resource that we already had!
Be specific. What does your ministry actually ‘need’? Do you need someone to take on the 2yr old class? (marmite!) Inspire them – this is not babysitting, this is sharing with our youngest that Jesus loves them and wants to be their friend. You’ll be amazed at how a specific ask/role can bring something out in people that you never saw before, that they never realised they had in them! Decide how and when you want people to serve and stick to that, show people the responsibility that you want to give them. We used to have people serve once a month when we still did Sunday School, but we decided to ask people to serve every other week – yes, a BIG ask, and we honestly thought very few people would do it, but only one person said ‘no’, just one. They were waiting for the BIG ask – even though they didn’t know it, they wanted to feel part of something important – and we doubled our volunteer base overnight! But – ALWAYS Safe recruitment.
Practically what can you do?
As with volunteers, be specific. A vague ask will bring a vague response – if you have a specific need, spread the vision and ask for specific items that will be part of that vision. Do you have a notice board? Put up a ‘giving tree’ – each leaf has a specific ask. Don’t run continually, just specific projects. Or you may be one person, who doesn’t necessarily want to serve (or they may do!) but they’ll happily buy your snacks each month, or add that to your ‘giving tree’.
Parents – they are a huge resource. They may not be able to give much, but I can guarantee they will want to play a role in what their child does. They often cannot serve as they have older/younger children, time constraints, but how about helping to prepare crafts during the week? Or contributing practically for something?
Contact companies – bowling, cinema, any really! You’ll be amazed at what you can get – you can then use these items as prizes, etc, it all adds to the fun of Kids Church or use as an incentive for the team? Make it fun! You could give a prize for the first 3 people who introduce a person to serve, who makes it through the process. We just did that and you wouldn’t believe how competitive it got!
Do you use scrap stores? Google to find your nearest. For a small annual fee you can buy from them items that have been donated to them by factories, companies – take your creativity and you’ll be amazed at what you can make from other peoples’ rubbish. Or if you find something you think might be useful jump on pinterest there’s bound to be a use for it there.
Here’s a novel idea… how about just asking another church if you can use their stuff? We have a couple of churches which use our set items immediately after we have finished a series. We can’t store anything so they use it then ditch it, but they haven’t the finance or time to make anything themselves. You could arrange ‘swaps’.
Curriculum – we have FREE lessons available on our website, it includes everything – lesson, crafts, small group material – take it, use it, make it your own.
When you buy make sure it’s re-usable. Board, boxes, Fairy Lights, lining material has big impact and keeps forever! Carpet squares, IKEA, pound shops. ‘Steal/borrow’ from other ministries in church – balloon stands, easels, boxes!
A Simple illustration can bring a story to life… what do you think we could use these illustrations for?
So – What stops us thinking OUTSIDE the box? Average, fear, not dreaming big (dreams are free!), failure to plan, lack of faith, limiting your thinking to a budget, stuck in the past – what is stopping you?
Notes for the creativity breakout led by Bev Verity at Elements Conference 2018