We all know that Preschool Ministry is not for the weak at heart. Truly a ministry that requires supernatural strength, supernatural patience, and supernatural wisdom. Its more like herding Cats I think. I am just thankful that we have faithful volunteers that are willing to dive in, head first, and lead this generation of sponge like minds to the feet of Jesus.
In the church were I serve, we have experienced a lot of growth in our preschool ministry. As we grew things become more and more hectic. Over the past year we have made 3 changes that have made a huge impact on the craziness. The volunteers were shocked at the difference it made on the overall experience for the kids and the leaders as well.
1. Ditch the Coloring Sheets. We all have those curriculum where either we make copies or we search the internet for hours looking for that one coloring sheet that compliments the lesson for that day and we are printing 20 copies our on our personal computer. Then the kids scribble on them, spill water on them, tear them up, and we take the time to write the name on the bottom and make sure the parents get it at the end of service only to be thrown away as they head out or get left in the car for a month until they throw it away. Can I get a Witness?
Alternative- Find either a local Newspaper printer or one with 20-30 minutes away. Give them a call and ask them for an End-roll of un-printed paper. In most cases they give it away or charge very little.
How to use… Back at the church, roll off enough paper to cover your tables, lay out crayons, washable markers, or colored pencils and let the kids go crazy. Scribble, draw pictures, or color. You can even get in on this too by drawing shapes or objects and let the kids color them in. You’ll be amazed at what your kids might create when left alone to imagine. Then, at the end of class.. THROW IT AWAY!!!!.
2. Stop pouring up water or juice for snack time.. I know, I know your on a budget or have no budget. This takes a lot of time, supplies, filling water jugs, then cleaning up when kids spill the cups, It just tiring. We had a teenager serving in a room and her only job was “Water Duty”.
Alternative- Capri Suns, Or juice Boxes. These are cheap, Sanitary and best of all Spill Proof. This is a great item to ask your people in your church to donate. When we stopped serving water at snack time and went to juice boxes the kids went bananas..
3. Use Music Videos and a lots of them. We began using worship videos about 6 months ago. We play the same 6 videos for a month. Yep same ones every Sunday for a month. We have them playing during play/snack time and then we have two that we use for “Worship with a Purpose” By far, in my opinion. Yancy, is the best resource for Preschool Ministry Worship. Not just because she is awesome, sings well, and plays guitar, but its that way in which the videos are put together. The lyrics to the songs are rich in scripture, teaching basic Bible truths that will stick with your preschooler forever. The format of the song is easy for young ones to pick up on and quickly imitate. The animation captures the child’s attention and keeps them engaged. Soon the kids will be singing along without needing to be coxed into it. . Stay Away from cheesy, corny, extremely goofy “Worship” videos, and they are out there. I have used my share of them!! (Chief of Sinners right here)
I am sure there are many more things that can be done to alleviate the stresses and strains of preschool ministry. If you have some ideas or want to share about something you have done please please please add a comment on this post. If this post is helpful to you please share with others. Take care and God Bless
Children and Family Pastor, Mars Hill Baptist Church, www.mymarshill.org