Verses from the Bible such as Mark 16:15 “and he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. (ESV)” tell us that as Christians we should spread the good news of Jesus Christ to others. Your church outreach can accomplish this in a variety of ways but one of the most effective and rewarding channels can be a children’s ministry and outreach.
A strong children’s ministry in your church outreach can be the difference on whether or not first-time visitors return to your church the next week. Many families consider a children’s ministry their top priority in selecting a church to attend. A strong children’s ministry has many facets and this article will hopefully put you on the right track to creating one. By creating a coordinated and successful children’s ministry, you will give both your regular church attendees and visitors a sense of the excitement and fun that comes with growing together in God.
First off, establish an “image” or “identity” for your children’s ministry through church marketing. Just as professional brands like Coca-Cola and Nike create an identity for their products, so must your church for its children’s ministry. Giving your children’s name its own name, logo, and slogan can be the backbone to creating that brand image. Not only do you need to develop it but you need to promote it as well. Create t-shirts for volunteers and ministry leaders, put up signs and other paraphernalia in the area of the church where your children’s ministry takes place. It will give children the feeling that they belong to something special and exciting. Make sure you get the whole church involved in church marketing and promoting this brand by putting it on the bulletins, flyers, and announcements. You can also create a dedicated section on your website for updates on events for children or simply focusing on relevant news. Create interest by making a separate social media account for your children’s ministry, you increase your awareness on updates and also strengthen your brand identity.
It is always important in your children’s ministry to stay very connected with the parents. After all, in most cases, they are the ones responsible for bringing the children to the church every week. Whenever parents check-in their children at the children’s ministry make sure that you have their contact information so that you can stay in touch with them. Sending out parent letters or cards that say, “thanks for visiting” and “we’ve missed you,” are a great way to show parents that you appreciate them. Again, with all of these materials make sure that you are continuing to promote your brand image and include your logo and slogan on the collateral that is sent out to parents. Because printing and mailing can get expensive, think about using email marketing software to send out bi-weekly emails to the parents on upcoming events and news about the children’s ministry. Another great way to stay connected with parents is to create a blog specifically for your children’s ministry. Have your children’s ministry leader or a volunteer update on a weekly basis the blog to keep it interested. Topics could include a quick synopsis about what the children learned the past Sunday or just some thoughts on parenting. Many modern parents often spend much of their time on Facebook, and creating a page dedicated to the children’s ministry is another great way to stay connected with parents, interact with anyone that has quick questions about your church, and will keep everyone updated and on the same page. You can create events on the facebook page when parents click that they are “interested” or “going”, it shows up on their friends’ timelines and increases the number of people that see the event happening at your church. You not only strengthen your children’s ministry brand, interact and engage with the parents, but you’re also spreading information about your events to those that may have never heard about your church.
It is obvious that a children’s ministry needs children to be considered effective. One way to bring children into your ministry is to put on an event for the community that will attract children and their families. Such events can include a summer vacation bible school, a children’s concert, carnival, or family fun day. When you do set up a children’s outreach event at your church, you will need to take the proper steps to make the public aware of your event. Consider putting up banners on the street and engaging in a direct mail campaign. Another way to implement church marketing event’s is to print flyers and have volunteers distribute them to the local neighborhoods and it never hurts to utilize local media such as radio and newspaper to advertise. Hopefully, these ideas and tips will have you on your way to establishing an effective and successful children’s ministry in your church.