The Promiseland Curriculum is developed with an assumption that the children's ministry staff and volunteers are working as a TEAM and are placed in roles that allow them to use their God-given gifts and abilities. This is a simple definition of a "gift-based" ministry.
Placing volunteers in their areas of giftedness is vitally important to maintaining a positive, effective ministry. If volunteers do not have a passion for the area in which they serve, their responsibilities will become burdensome rather than joyful. The Promiseland Curriculum is designed to maximize learning for children while funneling the energy of volunteers into areas in which they have skills and passion.
Since the staff and volunteers serve in their unique areas of giftedness, the children's ministry becomes team based. No one person carries the whole program. Leaders are free to fully lead, administrators can administrate, teachers can teach, shepherds can build relationships, helpers can assist, etc. When the whole team serves together, all the needs are met. This naturally leads to community and care, not just for the children, but for one another. Through the team approach, a vivid example of how the body of Christ works is provided for the children.
Often in ministry people jump into whatever help is needed at their church rather than find a place to serve that fits how God wired them up. Promiseland's approach is to look at each team member's giftedness and place him or her accordingly. Rather than ask, "Lord, what would you have me do?" we ask, "Lord, what have you created me to do?"
It is vitally important that team members know and understand their God-given gifts. Make training available to your volunteers so they can serve with confidence in the specific area God has called them. When believers are functioning out of their God-given gifts, they will experience joy, feel energized, and know God is real, active and at work in them. (A key resource for helping people discover their spiritual gift is The Network Course. For more information on Network, call 800-570-9812.) Key Bible passages referring to spiritual gifts are Romans 12; I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4 and I Peter 4.
Below are two options for staffing your children's ministry in order to build a "gift-based" ministry and to increase the effectiveness of the Promiseland Curricululm.
An Executive Director gives leadership to the children's ministry with a team of Age-level Directors. The Age-level Directors give leadership to individuals giving oversight to the three key areas of the ministry: Operations, Large Group Program, and Small Groups. If choosing to use this structure, it is important to find Age-level Directors who can lead the various personalities that are represented in Operations (highly administrative), Large Group Program (highly creative), and Small Groups (highly relational). In this organization, the Operations Coordinator, Large Group Producer, and the Small Group Coach would develop a team of volunteers to serve with them.
The Executive Director must be a sincere believer to whom God has given the spiritual gift of leadership. This person provides overall leadership for the children's ministry in the following ways:
- casting the vision for the program to church leaders and the congregation and acquiring needed approvals to launch the program
- motivating, mentoring and encouraging the Directors
- communicating vision and values to all volunteers
- overseeing the budget
- leading the training sessions for all volunteers
Age-level Grade Director
The Age-level Director must be a sincere believer to whom God has given the spiritual gift of leadership. This person provides leadership for the Kindergarten/1st Grade, 2nd/3rd Grade, OR 4th/5th Grade ministry in the following ways:
- recruiting volunteers and placing them according to their spiritual gifts
- connecting with families and kids to build excitement for the children's ministry
- motivating, mentoring, and encouraging the Operations Coordinator, Large Group Producer and Small Group Coach
- building enthusiasm for the salvation presentation
- being present and available to troubleshoot, encourage, and cheerlead during the ministry hour
The Operations Coordinator must be a sincere believer to whom God has given the spiritual gifts of administration and helps. The Operations Coordinator is responsible for the teams who help in registration, security, administration/supplies, and Activity Stations. This person needs to be able to juggle details relating to people and tasks and offer assistance where needed. This person supports the program by making sure that the various operations teams take care of the following items:
Helping to manage weekly administrative duties which includes:
- overseeing the placement of any signage that's needed to be put up for the weekend children's ministry
- coordinating the use of space for Activity Stations, Large Group and Small Group times
- coordinating registration/ check-in for each week
- coordinating volunteers needed for each week Being the point person for the Activity Stations:
- coordinating the volunteers to create a fun atmosphere throughout the Activity Stations area including music, banners, decorations, etc.
- scheduling which activities will be used each week
- acquiring materials needed for each activity
- coordinating volunteers to create and set up the activities
- coordinating volunteers to take down and store the activities if needed
- contacting and scheduling any special activities (face painting, juggling, etc.).
Large Group Producer
The Large Group Producer is a sincere believer to whom God has given the spiritual gifts of teaching and creative communication. He or she is comfortable in an up-front role, energetic, and able to lead a large group of children. The Large Group Producer develops a team of volunteers who:
- teach the Bible creatively to the children
- present live-action or video-taped dramas
- lead the songs presented in the curriculum
- review biblical principles with games and scripts presented in the program curriculum
- introduce and teach the key Bible verse for the lesson
- work with the Administrator to acquire materials and teaching props needed each week for the Large Group Program
Small Group Coach
The Small Group Coordinator is a sincere believer to whom God has given the spiritual gift of shepherding and leadership. This leader is responsible for the following:
- shepherding the adult Small Group Leaders
- recruiting new Small Group Leaders
- placing children in Small Groups
- working with the Administrator to acquire materials needed each week for Small Group Leaders
An Executive Director gives leadership to the children's ministry with a team of three gifted Directors: Operations Director, Large Group Program Director, and Small Group Director. These individuals would each give leadership to one aspect of the ministry.
The Operations Director is a sincere believer to whom God has given the spiritual gifts of leadership and administration. This leader is responsible for the following:
- casting a vision for the values of excellence and safety
- giving direction to age-level Operations Coordinators to assure consistency of processes and procedures throughout the ministry
- giving assistance to Executive Director as needed with budget development and management
- giving leadership to the care of the facilities and equipment of the ministry
Large Group Program Director
The Large Group Program Director is a sincere believer to whom God has given the spiritual gifts of leadership and teaching or creative communication. This leader is responsible for the following:
- casting a vision for excellence in programming and teaching
- giving direction to the age-level Large Group Program Producers to help plan and implement the Large Group Programs
- helping recruit and if necessary, schedule volunteers for serving in Large Group programs
- giving leadership to the development, creativity, and relevancy in Large Group programs through drama and technical advances
Small Group Director
The Small Group Director is a sincere believer to whom God has given the spiritual gifts of leadership and shepherding. This leader is responsible for the following:
- casting the vision for the importance of community for children and adults
- leading and shepherding the age-level Small Group Coaches
- helping to recruit age-level Small Group Leaders
- giving leadership to special volunteer appreciation events