1. Pray – Commit your planning to the Lord. Ask for guidance. Ask Him to prepare you and the kids to learn and have fun together this year. Tell Him your desires for your children’s ministry–and be sure to ask Him about His.

2. Find teachers – Get adults intrigued by showing a video of last year’s ministry highlights in a church service, adult Sunday school class, or Bible study group. Follow up by telling about the available openings for this year. Provide curriculum for people to look through. If you’re a teacher, recommend someone you would like to work with. Invite that person out for coffee or dessert and tell what you love about working in the children’s ministry.

3. Make it easy for people to help occasionally – People who are unable to be regular volunteers may be pleased to help now and then. This will help the regular teachers and may even get these people interested in becoming teachers. Ideas:

  • Scout out church and community members with skills in crafts, drama, and any other areas your group will take part in this year.
  • Have each parent sign up to help once or twice during the year.
  • Ask senior citizens to take turns being ministry grandmas and grandpas, providing extra hands during sessions/events and extra attention for the kids.

4. Plan a fun kickoff – Get all the adult workers together to brainstorm. Plan time to get kids registered (if applicable), let kids know what to expect in the upcoming year, and answer parents’ questions. Theme ideas:

  • football (provide footballs for all the kids for a real kickoff)
  • carnival
  • “goodbye to summer”
  • pizza party

5. Give/get training – Training can make the difference between feeling successful and struggling to make it.

  • Attend a Children’s ministry workshop.
  • Find a good training manual or video, and get together to study and discuss it.
  • Help organize a joint training meeting for workers in all of your church’s children’s ministries.

6. Set up a discipline policy – Create an overall plan for all age-groups, making sure it coordinates with any children’s ministry policy your church has in place. Then teachers for each group can create a list of rules and logical consequences suitable for their kids.

7. Pair up mentors

  • Find someone who has done the job you’re going to do this year and ask for advice.
  • Try to have experienced and inexperienced people pair up as teachers.

8. Develop prayer partnerships – Establish a communication plan between the partners through phone, e-mail, letter, or postcard. Having a prayer partner for each teacher will provide support and boost his or her spirits. Put up a sign-up poster at church, listing all teachers’ names and positions. Or teachers could recruit their own partners, such as:

  • friends
  • co-teachers
  • church members they would like to get better acquainted with
  • people whose prayer life they admire and would like to learn from