Children's Ministry

Looking for Help with Children’s Ministry?

Faith Formation Ministries can help you build on your church’s strengths to develop a vital and exciting children’s ministry that fits your local context. Whether your CRC church is facing a specific children’s ministry challenge, like finding volunteers or choosing curriculum, or are considering making some bigger changes in your ministry, we would love to connect with you!

Meet the Children's Ministry Catalyzer!

Welcome!

I’m Mimi Larson, the Children’s Ministry Catalyzer for Faith Formation Ministries, and one of my greatest joys is being with people, learning with them, and encouraging them on their ministry journey. For over 25 years, I served in local church ministry in both small and large churches and have written curriculum for Faith Alive Christian Resources, Big Idea/Veggie Tales, and the 50-Day Spiritual Adventure.

I can help you work through children’s ministry questions and challenges, including faith formation in children, choosing curriculum, finding and training volunteers, building a strong program and more. Get to know me in this short video.

Let's Keep in Touch!

If you're part of the CRC, I would love to connect with you, whether it’s just to chat, or to answer any questions you might have. Please contact me and I will get back to you. Email me at childrensministry@crcna.org.

Looking for ministry resources?

The resources listed here are just a taste of what is available for you through Faith Formation Ministries. Feel free to browse these topics and resources, and if you need more help, email us at childrensministry@crcna.org.

Children’s Ministry Toolkit

  • Check out the Children’s Ministry Toolkit, where you’ll find dozens of ideas for building a strong, vibrant children’s ministry in your church and addressing the challenges that arise. These ideas are drawn from many sources: best practices of CRC congregations, good books, articles, blog posts, and more. As we discover new resources and tools, we’ll add them to this toolkit, so check back often!
  • FFM has also developed toolkits that will be helpful in your work. See the list here.

Faith Nurture Resources

Selecting and Adapting Curriculum

  • Working with curriculum is an important task but can also be overwhelming and time-consuming. The Ten-Question Tool for Choosing Children’s Ministry Curriculum is an easy-to-use tool that can help you select a curriculum that’s as theologically and educationally sound as it is engaging and inclusive.
  • Choosing a Curriculum: A Guide for Churches is a tool that takes a more in-depth look at curriculum options. It includes a checklist of important curriculum features and questions to help you find theologically and pedagogically sound resources that fit the unique personality and dynamics of your congregation.
  • Do you need information about a specific curriculum? There are reviews, curriculum options and help with writing your own curriculum on the “Choosing Your Curriculum” tab in the Children’s Ministry Toolkit. You can access the toolkit here.

Recruiting and Equipping Volunteers

  • Calling people to ministry is a process. Equipping people for ministry requires intentionality. 30 Ideas for Calling, Keeping, and Celebrating Volunteers is a list of ideas that can help you in this process. You might want to print, save, and consult this list throughout the year.
  • For more ideas and resources, check out the “Calling, Encouraging, and Equipping Leaders” tab in the Children’s Ministry toolkit. You can access the kit here.

Am I on the Right Track?

  • How do you know that all your great plans are actually working? It is important that you have a plan for ministry evaluation. At the end of the year, you can use this evaluation tool for Sunday school leaders to get valuable feedback from your team. If you have any questions or challenges regarding program evaluation or implementing ministry change, you can email the Children’s Ministry Catalyzer at childrensministry@crcna.org.

Involving Kids in Worship

  • Worship isn’t just for adults and involving kids in worship takes intentionality. By participating with the faith community, children learn about God, the Gospel, and the story of redemption from other faith-seekers.
  • Ten Ways for Families to Engage Kids in Worship is a great tool to help make worship meaningful for children.
  • Welcoming Children to the Lord’s Supper toolkit explores how congregations can welcome children to the table. It includes resources for worship, practical ideas for parents, curriculum for children’s ministry, intergenerational events, and more.
  • Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship by Robbie Castleman is a essential book that incorporate biblically grounded theology with experientially test practical ideas to help deepen children’s participation in worship.

How do I create a safe environment in my ministry?

  • Because children are vulnerable, and because statistics show that abuse is just as prevalent inside the church as outside, it is up to you to do everything you can to provide a safe environment at all times. Safe Church Ministry offers excellent resources that can help equip congregations in abuse awareness, prevention and response.
  • You’ll find more information and sample child safety policies at crcna.org/SafeChurch.

Need some training for you or your team?

Training your team is vitally important in ministry. Here are some different ways you can incorporate training for you and your team.

CM Connect and Chat

Led by the Children’s Ministry Catalyzer, CM Connect and Chat is an online peer group that meets bi-monthly to discuss a variety of ministry questions, such as:

  • Simple recruitment ideas
  • Selecting and/or adapting curriculum
  • Developing volunteer leaders
  • Making a lesson work for classroom with a variety of ages
  • Supporting kids with behavioral and learning challenges

While the CM Catalyzer will host and guide the time together, it is a conversation between those of us who serve in ministry. What ministry challenges do you need help with? What ideas have worked for you that might of help to someone else?

If you are interested in participating, contact Mimi Larson at childrensministry@crcna.org.

Workshops

It is always a joy and a privilege to encourage and equip those in ministry. If you are interested in having someone do a workshop with your team, contact Mimi Larson at childrensministry@crcna.org.

Webinars

Autism and Children’s Ministry - This webinar is designed to help you understand the basics of ASD, employ strategies for including individuals with ASD,and how to manage difficult behaviors.

Want to explore the wider world of children’s ministry?

Do you want to expand your vision of ministry with children? Or maybe you need some refreshment during a tough season of ministry. Are you looking for some children’s ministry conferences or events around North America? Here are a few organizations that you might want to take a look at.

Conferences

  • Inspire 2019 is specifically designed for ministry volunteers and leaders from Christian Reformed and Reformed churches across North America. Worship, plenary speakers, breakout sessions and workshops are designed to help you ministry. You also have time to discover new resources and connect with those involved in similar types of ministry.
  • Children’s Spirituality Summit is a Christ-centered and ecumentical organization of scholars and thoughtful practitioners dedicated to promoting informed practice regarding children’s spirituality. They serve as a thought leader in the global discussion of children’s spirituality from a Christian perspective to influence practice in the varied contexts where children are spiritually formed.
  • The Association of Presbyterian Church Educators is made of those serving or have served in educational ministries, as ministers, professional or volunteer educators, or students, in reformed churches including the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America among others. Their annual conference provides opportunities for improvement of skills as well as personal enrichment.
  • InterGenerate is a conference designed for both practitioners and academics seeking to enhance life-long faith formation through intergenerational Christian experiences. Senior pastors, professors, age-level ministers, sociologists, church consultants - anyone who seeks to better understand and ultimately cultivate more intentionally intergenerational discipleship practices will find something at InterGenerate.
  • Faith Forward explores forward-thinking approaches to the spiritual formation of children and youth. Forward gatherings strive to help leaders and ministry partners re-imagine children’s and youth ministry through theology, relationship, and practice.

Connections