Starting An After-School Ministry – Preparing the Environment #4

By Wanda Parker

KidTrek Training is available

For more info write wanda@kidtrek.org

For previous postings on starting an after-school ministry  click here and click here and here

God took me from serving the poor for a time to serve the wealthy – it was a time of great learning for me.  During those years I served as a Children’s pastor in several large churches.  It was in one of those churches that I learned how important the environment is for children.

Our nursery was in a huge room – there were lots of babies.

Then our two-year old class got so big we needed to split it so we needed the space the nursery was using – the infants were moved to the smaller room.

The first Sunday after the switch I was amazed as I walked into the nursery and there were no crying babies.  Sunday after Sunday it was the same, there was a peacefulness in the room.  In the large room the babies cried a lot.  It was as though being in that smaller space provided them with a sense of security.

ENVIRONMENT IS IMPORTANT WHEN MINISTERING WITH CHILDREN!

As Jesus communicated with man He used the environment around Him.  He made us aware of the environment within His Word.

Imagine the scene where Jesus washed His disciples feet, or as He sat on the mountain side teaching the Beatitudes.  What pictures do you have in your mind of Christ walking through the crowd when He was touched by someone?

When we read the bible we get a sense of the environment of that day because He used the environment to teach.

WHO IS RESPONSIBE FOR SETTING THE ENVIRONMENT IN YOUR AFTER SCHOOL MINISTRY?

  • Every adult who is at the center – doesn’t matter their area of responsibility
    • Who are you?
      • What is your relationship with the Triune God?
      • Study II Peter 1 – ponder vs. 10 – are you chosen based on Peter’s challenge in the previous verses?
        • Don’t ever expect to see lasting results in your ministry if you yourself aren’t walking the talk in your deepest inner being.
    • Attitude
      • As you prepare to go to the center what is your attitude?  Do you want to go?
        • What do you think the kids feel when they are around a grumpy, negative, depressed adult?  Will that make them want to be there?
      • If you don’t want to go to the center ask the Lord to change your attitude.
      • Pray for joy and enthusiasm.
        • Ask the Lord to show you why you don’t want to go.
      • Shout out loud
        • When you think enthusiastic
          Then you’ll feel enthusiastic
          WOW! Am I enthusiastic!

I will write more on the environment of an after school ministry next time.  Let me know what you think – also areas you would like to hear more about.

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