For the past several weeks, it’s been all about the students who serve in our ministry.
We started the month of June with a special appreciation event for our student leaders (elementary – high school aged leaders). We’ve never done an appreciation event just for students but we thought it would be fun to do something just for them. Not only was it fun, it was rather simple to plan:
- The number of students who serve in our Children’s Ministry has skyrocketed recently and we wanted to celebrate them!
- We decided to celebrate them on a Sunday morning, between services, since most of them would already be on campus.
- All good celebrations (especially for children and teens) involve food! The question – what would the students like? Our staff team decided on Rita’s Italian Ice. Since I live with two teens (who also serve in our ministry), I asked them, “What if we served Rita’s to all of our student leaders one Sunday morning?” Their enthused reaction let me know that we had a winner!
- My team and I made sure our list of student leaders was up-to-date so that they (or their parents) could be emailed an invitation (we used evite for this). We also printed paper invitations to hand out to them.
- We wanted the party room to have some fun decorations, so we had children in our ministry make them. They traced their hands on poster board, decorate them and cut them out. The handprints were then glued onto larger pieces of poster board thank you cards that were displayed around the room.
- We also wanted the atmosphere to be festive, so we played music from TobyMac and Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration”. Before we knew it, the students (and I!) were dancing around the room. It was so fun!!
- We invited others to celebrate our wonderful student leaders. Adult leaders and our pastors were invited to come and say ‘thanks for serving’. Our Senior Pastor’s encouraging words were treasured by the students in attendance. We are so thankful for the support of our Senior Leadership.
This event was so well-received that we’ll add in a few similar events to next year’s ministry calendar.
The following week (this past Sunday), we held a special training for all our student leaders and those who wanted to become student leaders. Normally, our volunteer training events incorporate students, but this was the first time that we provided a training specifically for students. Like the event mentioned above, it was fairly easy to plan and implement.
- Because the number of students who serve in our Children’s Ministry has skyrocketed, we felt the need to train and equip them for service.
- We decided to celebrate them on a Sunday after our last service, since most of them would already be on campus.
- We used our up-to-date student leader list to invite the students. We also printed paper invitations to hand out to them.
- We wanted to use our time wisely, so we outlined the major points that we wanted to accomplish for the day: fellowship (we used a fun icebreaker); food (we decided on pizza, popcorn, chips, chocolate chip cookies and soda); and information (things like our application process, safety reminders, our expectations of them, ways we could serve them better and ways they could use their gifts or talents in our ministry). We also emphasized how thankful we are for them and how important they are to our ministry.
I thoroughly enjoyed being with the students and am so thankful that we have the privilege of serving with them.
If you would like to see our training agenda and handouts we provided, email me at email@example.com and I’ll be happy to send them to you.
How do you train and celebrate your ministry’s student leaders? Share your ideas in the comment section below!