Children’s ministers often serve as volunteers, but for larger churches, the position is a staff job that is integral to the church’s mission. Their primary duty is to introduce the church’s doctrines, principles and beliefs to young children, and reinforce the lessons and scriptures followed by that denomination. At the same time, children’s ministers participate in outreach efforts to boost church growth.
Training for the Position
Churches typically require children’s ministers to have a four-year degree, though not necessarily in religious studies. Seminaries and religious schools offer four-year bachelor's degrees that prepare students to work specifically with children. A children’s minister must demonstrate a strong background in the faith; the ability to lead and work with other church groups; a commitment to the faith through regular prayer and church attendance; and the ability to relate well with children. Many of the qualifications are proven through volunteering and participating in church activities. Letters of recommendation from previous congregations and school activities also serve to prove these strengths.
Developing the Curriculum
Children’s ministers develop the curriculum for regular Sunday school classes and other related activities. They may organize plays, music and performances, as well as create outlines for weekly Bible studies. Ministers may teach classes themselves as well as oversee and train volunteers. Children’s ministries are designed for children through age 12, after which they move into youth or teen programs.
Recruiting and Reporting
As part of the church’s paid leadership, children’s ministers participate in meetings with the pastor and other staff in the church. Ministers recruit volunteers to provide Sunday school instruction and childcare. They interview prospective volunteers and oversee their weekly progress. Ministers report the number of children in attendance, the costs of materials used in programs and the status of volunteer recruitment efforts. They develop and present new ideas for programs, maintain a budget and request funds.
Adding Outreach Efforts
In addition to strengthening the children’s faith, children’s ministries serve to attract new members and retain current ones. Ministers groom children to continue religious studies and move into youth groups, eventually becoming part of the adult church population. Active, successful children’s programs also attract families seeking a church home. At the same time, children’s ministers participate in the church’s continuing recruitment efforts by marketing church activities to the surrounding community.
- Disciples Today: The Compelling Importance of Children’s Ministry
- University of the Cumberlands: Religion
- Lifeway: Job Descriptions for Childhood Ministry
- Baylor University: Job Description Children’s Minister
- Bible.org: Children’s Ministry Job Descriptions
- North Cincinnati Community Church: Children’s Ministry Job Description
- Grace Common International: An Introduction to Children's Ministry
- Photo Credit Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images
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