By Shayla Hale
In my first church, I was assigned a preschool committee. Every year, two of the six members rotated off and two new members joined. The nominating committee appointed members who were selected on willingness to serve and usually had some tie to the preschool department as a parent or leader. We would meet four to six times during the year, and I would usually leave the meeting with a to do list that I was expected to accomplish and then report back. Often, I felt like I was just updating our policy book, ordering supplies and curriculum, arranging care for events, and providing the nominating committee with a list of teacher names to approve. My heart desired to shepherd my leaders and create meaningful experiences for our kids.
Several years into ministry a new administrative pastor joined our staff and he moved our committee driven system to a ministry team system. We still had a few necessary committees (finance, personnel, nominating, etc.), but we were ready to move from committees who assigned work to the staff, to teams who worked alongside the staff to accomplish the vision of the ministry. It was a big adjustment. Not everyone was excited for the change. But, once we got moving forward, it was amazing how much more fun ministry was when a team worked side by side to serve preschoolers and families.
In many churches a governing body will assign a group of members to serve as a preschool committee. Typically a committee will assist in matters of policy and procedures. But, an engaging preschool ministry is so much more than policies and procedures. A ministry team is sanctioned by and accountable to the church and committed to the vision of the ministry area. Consider how your preschool committee can become a strong, effective team that makes a Kingdom impact.
Suggested Preschool Committee/Team Members:
- Preschool minister/director
- Preschool Bible study leaders
- Preschool mission and/or music education coordinators
- Weekday preschool director
- Childcare coordinator
- Resource room coordinator
- Parents and grandparents of preschoolers
Responsibilities of the Ministry Team Leader:
- Listen to the team
- Coach the team
- Set an example
- Be accountable and expect the team to be accountable
- Delegate responsibilities according to strengths, gifts, experiences, abilities, and passions
- Develop relationships that foster a culture of love and joy
Responsibilities of the Ministry Team:
- Interpret the vision of the preschool ministry.
- Recommend guidelines to the church that will assure quality teaching, spiritual guidance, and safety for children every time they attend.
- Plan activities for the preschool ministry that coordinate with the church calendar and further the vision of the ministry.
- Coordinate the use of space and equipment in the preschool area.
- Make recommendations for purchasing furnishings, supplies, repairs, and renovations.
- Communicate regularly with the church coordinating body (council, leadership team, etc.) about the preschool ministry.
- Work with event teams to conduct activities for preschoolers and families.
- Develop ministry partners to support the ministry and leaders.
An effective ministry team is vitally important to the success of your preschool ministry. The team will multiply your ministry impact on kids and families. Pray for the right mix of leaders who will help advance the vision of your ministry. Work together. Have fun. Watch how God can use a team to impact the eternity of kids and families!
Enduring Connections: Creating a Preschool & Children’s Ministry; 2007, Janice Haywood
Kids Ministry 101: Practical Answers to Questions About Kids Ministry; 2009, LifeWay
Unwrapped Conference August 5- www.mrmarksclassroom.com/unwrapped
Kid’s Min 411 (Free Conference) April 11- www.mrmarksclassroom.com/411
PLAYING “PLAYING FAVORITES”
Objective: Identifying with the emotions of being favored or seeing someone else who gets more by being favored. Pick a game to play and plan a small snack. Tell kids that everyone’s name is going in a hat and whoever you draw out will be your “favorite” for that activity. As you play the game—i.e. tag or Simon says, etc— bend the rules for your favorite. Play again with a new name. Draw a new name and a serve snack. The favorite gets served first and gets more. Do the same with a drink, giving everyone water while your favorite gets to choose a juice box. How does it feel to be favored? How did it feel to watch someone else be favored? Let them know the story of Joseph has these emotions in it!
COAT OF MANY COLORS BOOKMARKS
Objective: Create a Bible marker that will remind the kids that God was with Joseph and gave him wisdom for every situation from favored son to slave to second ruler of Egypt. Provide plastic pocket folders cut into bookmark sized pieces. Cover with a strip of carpet tape (its double sided) that sticks to the plastic and leaves a sticky surface for the ribbons. Punch a hole at the top before the next step. Have many colors of thin satin ribbon available. Show kids how to lay down parallel sections of ribbon to cover the bookmark in lots of colors. Take some black ribbon or cord and pass it through the hole you punched earlier, pushing the ribbon over the hole aside. Tie a knot near the top of the bookmark and let the tassels hang. Write a verse or phrase on the back.
TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL GO FISH
Objective: Familiarity with the names and spellings of the twelve brothers who are the heads of the tribes of Israel. Create a deck of cards by printing out simple symbols for each of the 12 tribes and their names. Check online for easy symbol ideas by searching “tribes of Israel symbols.” Make four cards for each tribe. Include Jacob/Israel as father with his own four cards to make a proper deck of 52 cards. Deal five cards each. Take turns choosing to ask another player if they have any cards from a tribe you hold or taking your chances by drawing a card. You cannot ask for a card you are not holding. If they do not have the card, they say “Go Fish” and you must draw from the deck. Try to collect all four cards for as many tribes as possible.