How to start a Children’s Club
When I was selling children’s books on Markets Stalls, I had many church people come by and lament the fact that they had no children in their churches. It was sad to hear this so often. I was puzzled, how could a church have no children? What future was there for a church with no children?
There are children passing our churches every day, there are families on the church doorstep. How is it possible to have no children’s work?
Where are our priorities?
We must not use the excuse that children are no longer interested in church, or they are not interested in Sunday School anymore. We can and we must address this issue.
As I started the teaching time in one club I noticed a mum sitting in the church. Later she came to speak to me. She told me she was a Catholic, but her son refused to go to church with her because it was boring. However he loved coming to the children’s club at our church. I have heard similar stories so many times in my children’s ministry.
A mid-week Children’s club can be successful and lead on to much blessing in the life of the church. So how do we go about staring one?
Bring together those who might be interested and pray for guidance for every step. There is much preparation to do. You will need a team of helpers, maybe some training, and a child protection policy before you can start.
A leader to co-ordinate
To keep a register of children, and generally oversee the club; note birthdays, and keep in touch if absent.
A games organiser
Great care needs to be taken playing games to avoid accidents. You will need a clutter free space. The games need to be competitive and exciting.
Someone to sort the drinks time
Usually there will be a break between the games and time out. Need to be aware of dietary needs also.
Younger children love the singing time.
Someone to lead the meeting, running a short program; this can include memory verse, quiz, Scripture play and serial story from the Bible. There are excellent free resources now available on the Internet.
A take home leaflet can also be given out.
You can also sign the children up of Postal Bible School which will give the children a 3 years syllabus learning the Bible.
Now if there is a shortage of workers some of these roles can be doubled up; l have often led the singing and run the children’s time on my own.
If there is no gifted speaker then you can invite someone each week.
It is important to teach through Bible themes and apply them to every day life. I never asked the children to make any decisions, but to think over what they are taught. This is very important. We must not put prayers into children’s mouths.
We need to remember that the Bible is not a children’s book!!
We also supplied colour sheets with main lesson on for parents to see what we were teaching.
Primary school is the age range – 5s – 7s Infants. 8s – 10s Juniors.
It is best to start with a joint club of 5 – 10s, but if numbers increase then you can have a split club on the same night, coming together for the drinks and singing, but split for the games & story time, of course this will need more helpers.
Do not allow children who are at Senior School to attend the club. They tend to show off a little and not enter into the meeting time. If you have Teens then start another club!!!
Point mean prizes
We gave points out each work and kept a record. Then at the end of each term we put out a prize table where the children could spend their points. There were all kinds of prizes such as toys etc etc…
Keep to School term times
This is always best as it gives the workers a break and also the children.
As time goes on you can develop a club for 11+
These can be very simply but important, as naughty children can spoil the club for others.
But where are we going to get the children from?
With a leaflet we can go around the district, some can be taken to the local school, head teachers will normally announce at assemblies, and ask who are interested to request a copy later.
There will be children of church members, or grandchildren! If we have 15 -20 children then I would consider this to be a good number of children for any church.
As the Club develops and becomes established you will have opportunities to have Family Services on special occasions, such as Easter, Christmas, Mother’s day, etc.
Think of all the children you see every day, pray for them, pray for the churches to catch a vision to reach them with the Word of God.