Absen America

Children & Youth

Growing Membership by Attracting Young Families

  By Eric Torrey Church attendance numbers in America are declining. According to Pew Research and Gallop Polls, it has been declining for several decades. This is particularly true for mid-size churches. A recent study noted that from the period 1994-2004, while the smallest churches (attendance 1-49) and the largest (2,000 plus attendees) experienced membership

The Secret to Hiring & Retaining a Great Daycare Staff

By Wendy Young One of the greatest attractions your church daycare has to offer is your teachers! So where can you dig up these hidden gems, and how can you hang onto your best childcare staff once you’ve brought them in and invested in their training? You spend time training new childcare staff – lots

9 Ways to Grow Your Preschool Ministry

By Jenny Funderburke Very few churches reach younger families without a strong preschool ministry. Here are nine practical ways to expand the number of preschool children coming to your church. 1. Do it well. It will be virtually impossible to grow your preschool ministry if you are doing it halfway. Evaluate, identify challenges, and then

Creating a Peaceful Nursery at Church

By Mimi Bullock Nursery ministry is so special. What a joy to minister to little ones the love and peace of God! One of the most important things we can hope for in a church nursery is a holy peace. That doesn’t mean babies won’t cry and parents won’t agonize over leaving their babies behind,

7 Simple Summer Ideas for Student Ministry

By Tim Price In many ways, summers can still be carefree for students. Of course, there is some travel and sports, but not every student is gone every day. Summer months provide a great opportunity to build relationships, form community, be out a bit later, enjoy some warmer weather activities and help keep students connected.

Managing Your Children’s Ministry During Summer

  This article originally appeared in the March 2013 issue. By Mimi Bullock Mimi Bullock writes for www.Ministry-To-Children.com, a resource started by Tony Kummer to solve children’s ministry problems. The last day of school means freedom and fun for kids; for the children’s minister, it marks the beginning of a season of low attendance and

Fundraising for Your Youth Group

From mission trips to summer camps to church concerts, your youth group ministry probably has a whole list of projects and activities you want to raise money for. Let’s face it, fundraising can be difficult for youth groups without the right ideas to grab the attention of the entire congregation and express your need. But

9 Things That Happen When You Forget Ministry Vision

By Tony Kummer Lately I’ve visited the children’s ministry in some small churches. A common theme is clear — in all the scramble to do ministry, they often lack clear goals and vision for their programs. My observation — we need a map to know if we’re on the right path or losing our way.

74 Tips for a Great Vacation Bible School

   This article was originally published in the December 2007 issue.   It is courtesy of Vacation Bible School Nut, www.vacationbibleschoolnut.com. If you’re reading this article, you’re excited, scared, nervous, or a combination of all three. You’re about to embark on a thrilling journey, because there’s no greater outreach ministry to children than Vacation Bible School.

The Importance of Setting Goals for Vacation Bible School

  This article originally appeared in the December 2009 issue. By Peg Arnold Peg Arnold is VBS editor for Regular Baptist Press, www.RegularBaptistPress.org. Vacation Bible School is more than a few days of fun for kids and more than a week of Bible stories and crafts, games and snacks, singing, laughter, and lots of fun.

10 VBS Ideas to Infuse Strategic Thinking Into Your Church

By Scott Ball As a kid, I have very few memories more vivid than of spending a week in Vacation Bible School. I would attend two weeks: one at my church and one at my best friend’s church. I remember the week at my friend’s church the most because it was different. As a part

Adding Indoor Recreation to Your Children's Ministry

By Grant Davies Increasingly, vibrant children’s ministries have shown to play a significant role in the maintenance and growth of worshipers within a church congregation. Both feedback and experience indicate the importance of creating a space within a church for children to learn, move and grow which in turn creates a sense of excitement and

8 Tips to Secure Your Church Daycare

By Jason Maddox There are many cost-effective ways to secure your church daycare or preschool facility. In this article, we share eight best practices for church daycare security using a combination of policies, procedures and technology to protect the children and employees in your care. 1. Develop Policies & Procedures Manual If you don’t already

How to Choose the Best Sunday School Curriculum

By Nathan Johnson Finding the best Sunday School curriculum can be a challenge. It’s not for a lack of options. It’s more often for lack of clarity. Amidst all the options, what should you really be looking for in your next choice of curriculum? I’ve been involved in Sunday School ministry for more than a

4 Simple Steps to Engage Children in Worship

By Kristen Greene “How do we engage children in church?” This age-old question remains at the forefront for almost every children’s ministry leader, parent and pastor. And if you’ve ever sat up late at night, cutting out the gazillionth piece for some Pinterest craft that seemed like the perfect idea for kids, you may have

Nursery Room Floorcare Challenges

By Matt Morrison There are several types of floors that church properties can select from for their nurseries. Many select carpet. It helps “quiet” a nursery room. Plus, we now know that carpet absorbs airborne pollutants, helping to prevent them from being inhaled, which helps protect health. Carpet also helps prevent slip and fall accidents from occurring and is softer under

Getting the Most from Your Themed Environment

By Paulla Shetterly A properly planned and executed themed environment can be an effective tool for any church aiming to recruit new members or bring back former attendees. It’s well understood that the children’s ministry is a key growth engine for any church, and a great way to engage this vital demographic is by articulating

Church Summer Reading Programs for Children

By Kristin Charles Libraries all over the nation conduct summer reading programs, so why shouldn’t we? There is a plethora of quality literature out there and children looking for something to do. All they need is a little encouragement! Goals Summer reading allows children to maintain skills and develop a lifelong love for books. Reading

Creating a Welcoming Environment for Children's Ministry

By Kristin Charles Maybe I just have a thing for aesthetics, but there is something to be said for a warm and welcoming environment. Have you ever walked into a classroom that invites you in with color and comfort and encouragement? These places of learning are organized, interactive, and vibrant. On the walls, you’ll find

Vacation Bible School for All Ages?

  This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue. By Jonathan Norris Jonathan Norris is marketing coordinator for Regular Baptist Press, www.rbpstore.org. Are you looking for an event that brings the whole church together and results in spiritual and numerical growth in one week’s time? Consider Vacation Bible School for all ages! The benefits

9 Practical Tips for Teaching Vacation Bible School

By Brandon Bramlett Being one of the greatest evangelistic outreaches from the local church, Vacation Bible School takes a lot of planning, promotion, and preparation. There are cooks, counselors, decorators, teachers, and many other positions to fill to make VBS a success. I have a passion for teaching and for training teachers, and below I

How to Effectively Include Children's Indoor Play Spaces in Your Church Design

The church building is designed to minister to people of all ages, and one of the most important age groups to consider while planning is the children. The Barna Group indicates that “nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior do so before reaching the age of 13, and that two

Benefits of an Indoor Play Structure

By Grant Davies The addition of a soft, self-contained indoor play structure offers many benefits to a religious facility, such as increased membership, greater enjoyment of experience and improved play and activity value. In an increasingly competitive world where every organization is vying for an advantage, adding a play structure play structure to a church

Five Things Parents Look for in a Daycare

Parents realize the importance of selecting the right care facility for their children since their choice of childcare center will have a major impact on their children’s lives. They want a place where their children will be comfortable and have fun, but that will also benefit and assist with their child’s development. Here are five

10 Ways to Bond with Preschoolers in Your Ministry

By Wayne Stocks I love preschoolers. They’re just a whole lot of fun, and they provide a mostly blank canvas. I love their energy. I love their excitement. I love their thirst and hunger for knowledge. I love their innocent view of the world. Spend the morning with a room full of preschoolers, and you

Equipping Your Restrooms and Nurseries for Babies

By Amy Seretsky About 10 years ago, a New York man wrote columnist Dear Abby (Abigail Van Buren) the following letter: Dear Abby, I’m a single father of an 18-month-old and am wondering why so many public places have no baby-changing stations available in areas where men can use them. I find it hard to

How to Protect Children in Church Nurseries

  This article originally appeared in the October 2007 issue. By Kevin Hosey Kevin Hosey is marketing director for Long Range Systems, www.pager.net/rpn. Since 1993, LRS has been providing on-site paging and management systems to churches and other industries worldwide. I have been attending churches since I was a little boy. Besides renewing my faith

Theming Your Facility

By Paulla Shetterly Church leaders throughout America search for ways to reach and inspire the “unchurched generation.” They invest a large amount of time and energy developing approaches for inviting those persons searching into church. As they strive to recruit new members or returning former attendees, these leaders also look for methods that effectively articulate

10 Keys for Evaluating Children's Ministry Curriculum

By Steven Knight When was the last time you evaluated your children’s ministry curriculum? If it’s not quite as effective as you would like, then perhaps it’s a good time to take a look at other curriculum options. If you’re not sure where to start, then take a look at these 10 keys for evaluating

Flatland Kids' Ministry and Self-Service Kiosks

By Kelsie M. Collins Flatland Group is a church in Omaha, Nebraska, that is affiliated with the Assemblies of God. AG is a worldwide network of Christian churches that has approximately 52+ million members in 212 countries. Churches have been teaming up this way as a means to share resources with one another to support

Serving Others: Summer Program Ideas for Kids

By Emily Mullens Planning a Serving Others Summer (SOS) can be a fun way to connect to the community, serve others, and bring the church family together. These are very simple ideas you can carry out quickly. Print water bottle labels with a Bible verse and your church information and pass out at a local

5 Reasons Why Kids Need Children's Church

By Mimi Bullock Children’s church or big church? That is the question many parents are asking lately. When I began in ministry back in 1997, children’s churches weren’t wildly popular in my area, but, over the years, the trend has caught on. Now I am happy to report we have some amazing ministries that reach

The Value of Your Sunday School Ministry

  This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue. By Mimi Bullock Mimi Bullock writes for www.Ministry-To-Children.com, a resource started by Tony Kummer to solve children’s ministry problems. There has been a lot of discussion in my circle of friends recently about the necessity of Sunday School. I’ve been working in children’s ministry for

Making the Most of Your VBS Experience

  This article originally appeared in the December 2006 issue. By Mary Grace Becker Mary Grace Becker is senior product developer for NexGen Team, a division of Cook Communications Ministries, www.cookministries.org. The month of December with its bright Christmas lights and thermometer dip may not seem the best time to think about Vacation Bible School.

Reinventing Sunday School for the 21st Century

  This article first appeared in the April 2006 issue. By Roger Theimer and Mike Heinz Dr. Roger Theimer is the author of Kingdom Quest, a children’s ministry curriculum available over the Internet, www.kidskountpublishing.com.  Mike Heinz is the director of family ministries at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska.  When you hear Sunday

Safe Nurseries, Safe Toys

  This article originally appeared in the June 2005 issue. By Lynda Freeman Lynda Freeman has been in children’s ministry for 33 years and is a curriculum consultant, curriculum writer and freelance writer. You can visit her on the Web at www.roundaboutthechurch.com. We all want our church nurseries to be a place where children are