Two days ago I published this post about small being the new big. Honestly, after I wrote it, i didn’t love it. However, I got some feedback and my wife even encouraged me to continue the idea, specifically expressing what this looks like in kidmin. That’s easy enough.
When it comes to elementary ministry, smaller is better. Before I say anything else, I will preface that there’s nothing like a huge rooms totally packed with elementary kids. The energy is unbelievable and I seek building these kinds of environments. However, it’s necessity for me to sandwich this large group environment with a small group experience. When parents drop their kids off, it’s usually best if they can get dropped off in a small group. New kids feel more welcome when getting the attention of a small group of peers and an adult leader as opposed to feeling lost in a huge crowd in a big room. In addition, ministry is so much more personal in that small group.
When it comes to early childhood, smaller is better, but that’s a no brainer, right? When I got to my current church, 50 five-year olds and kindergartners were all in one room. Bad idea. Try it and you’ll see.
When we organize leaders and volunteers, with go with a small span of care. For instance, a staff member may oversee a ministry and really only lead 3-4 people, service coordinators. Those service coordinators might oversee 6-8 volunteers. The entire ministry is led by people who only lead a few people. It’s great for leaders caring for leaders in their lives. In this model, the children’s pastor may not get all the lime light, but that’s distributed to other staff and volunteers who have a more direct relationship with the kids.
These are just a few examples of how small is better in church.
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I could not agree more with you that ministry needs to stay small. I do disagree with one thing you said though. Prior to you taking over at Gateway I NEVER allowed 50 5 year olds/Kindergartners in one room. In fact the K’s were included in Elementary. I also had a room max of 25 children for the 5 year olds as long as they had 4 adult volunteers in the room. If I had less volunteers for a day, that room max would drop as well. Safety and creating the best learning venue are very important to me. Just felt like I had to say something when you were talking about things prior to you coming to Gateway.
Calm down buddy, I wasn’t talking about things prior to my arrival. To clarify, I moved kindergarten out of elementary as it’s my personal preference to not include them in elementary putting them with the 5 year olds which made that room pretty massive. Our decision to do this was based on our portables being ready in the fall which were not ready until January, hence having up to 50 kiddos in on big room. It was safe and it was organized, it was just a little hairy having that many kiddos in one room. Not a great environment, but it’s what we had to do to make due until our space was ready. Hope that clears things up.
Thanks Kenny for clarify that, I hoped that was not what you were saying. There is no doubt you inherited a difficult situation when it came to your classrooms. At times I was ready to pull my hair out just trying to fit all the kiddo’s in. I think you have done a GREAT job getting things spread out. I know that families greatly appreciate all your hard work. Thanks for taking good care of the kids at Gateway.
Oh, one other thing your portables look AMAZING!