Why does writer’s block always set in when you get ready to write a purpose statement for your children’s ministry? You know you need one, but you just can’t figure out exactly how to word it or what to include. After you have prayed for God’s direction in planning the vision of the ministry, here are three questions to consider that may help you get past these obstacles.
1. What are your goals?
First you should define the goals of your ministry. These are the BIG ideas that you want to accomplish (notice the emphasis on BIG). When children are regularly attending your church, what would you like to see happen in their lives and in their parents’ lives? These goals should be timeless, in that they won’t have to change as the culture changes. Limit these goals to a small number. People should be able to understand what your church’s children’s ministry is about, without feeling like they have to read a book. When we were writing the goals of our church’s children’s ministry, we included 3 areas: the children, the parents, and the church. Here are the goals of the ministry I serve in:
1. To create an exciting environment where children want to attend. (Psalm 122:1)
2. To help children hear, learn, and obey God’s Word. (Proverbs 22:6)
3. Be a resource for parents in their roles as primary spiritual leaders of their homes. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
4. Be a resource for children’s workers in their roles as spiritual leaders of children in the church. (Ephesians 4:11-12)
Our goals may not fit every children’s ministry, but notice how we kept them to only the BIG ones. Of course we have other goals that we didn’t mention, but these are the ones that we thought were the most important and wanted people to remember.
On another note, don’t give in to the temptation to write your goals to fit your current ministry programming. God may be leading you to a new direction that may require some change. If you believe a goal is very important but you aren’t meeting it yet, don’t leave it out! Be sure to list the BIG goals that God wants you to meet. Once you figure out what your goals are, you are ready to move on to the next question.
2. How will you accomplish these goals?
This question is to help you think through what you’ve written down. Are you currently accomplishing all of your goals? Do you need to change anything in order to meet them? Perhaps you have realized that you are putting a lot of time and effort into something that doesn’t line up with the vision God is leading you to.
Think through the major parts of your children’s ministry and see how those programs/activities align with the goals you’ve written down. What needs to be tweaked to help further accomplish these goals? After you have thoroughly analyzed your ministry, you are ready to move to the last question.
3. In light of these goals, what is the purpose of your children’s ministry?
Come up with 1 sentence that squeezes all of your goals into it (this is another reason your goal list should be only the BIG ones). It may be a little difficult at first, but try starting with the statement, “[Your children’s ministry name] exists to…” Here is the purpose statement of our children’s ministry:
Cornerstone Kids exists to teach children to glorify God by helping them hear, learn, and obey His Word, while partnering with and resourcing their spiritual leaders.
Once you have completed your purpose statement and have clearly defined the goals of your ministry, every time you get ready to start a new program or plan an activity, compare it with your goals/purpose. It is a great way to not only let the congregation know what your ministry does, but also to help you be certain to have a purpose behind everything that you do!
Have you thought of a great purpose statement or goals for your children’s ministry? Maybe you are stuck in the process? Leave your thoughts, comments, and suggestions in the comment section!