Three Tips from Orange to Help Rebuild Your Children’s Ministry Blog Feature
Evan McBroom

By: Evan McBroom on June 15, 2021

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Three Tips from Orange to Help Rebuild Your Children’s Ministry

children's ministry space | Relaunch Church | kidmin

What’s trending in kid’s ministry? It's a whirlwind of getting back into your space, adding new processes, and welcoming newcomers and longtimers.

We love to connect with and support the team at Orange, currently on their Orange Tour Limited. I spoke recently with Orange Kids Specialist, Missy Purcell, about trends and the advice they are offering as they support church leaders.

Common KidMin Challenges

Struggle to Juggle

Missy shares that many churches are committed to ministry in-person and online, but it feels challenging to do it all. Leaders are asking:

      • How do I continue face-to-face?
      • How do I continue digital?
      • How do I juggle the two worlds at the same time?

Those relaunching are wondering: What do I do with my current space to accommodate kids and leaders who are returning?

“Leaders have to consider: How do I manage two ministries with the same end goals?” –Missy Purcell, Kids Specialist at Orange

Volunteer Shortage

A challenge before 2020, it’s even more evident now. Missy points out that while core volunteers may be back in serving roles, shortages are common. Some churches only have about 10% of their volunteer base in action. “Leaders are struggling with how to reopen a space and juggle a virtual space. We talk to leaders every day who normally have 50-100 volunteers, and they're looking at 10-15 right now.”

“Every kid needs a committed leader investing in them every year of their life.” –Missy Purcell, Kids Specialist at Orange

Watch the full conversation:

Three Tips to Help You Thrive

1. Make It a Process:

Don’t rush: Missy shares, “Get your core group together and think about what your road to relaunch looks like. If it’s June and you want to reopen, set an August date if your senior leadership lets you. If not, talk to your senior leadership and let them know you need the time. Advocate for yourself.” Focus on building trust.

“If we don't take time to cast vision, plan a road to relaunch, recruit volunteers, train them well, and implement new policies - we could end up communicating a negative message to our families. And we don't want to do that. We've got one chance to reopen well.”

Expanding your volunteer base: “Utilize your core team to create your road to relaunch and have them reach out to their circles.” Encourage core volunteers to connect with former/potential volunteers. As volunteers return, help them feel seen, educated about new procedures, and safe.

Progress over time: Many leaders are combining age groups, using reservation systems for planning, and streamlining activities. Strive to manage your expectations, too. “We're going to have to move toward consistency with leaders. In the meantime, it might mean we have two semi-consistent leaders investing in a kid instead of that one committed volunteer.”

2. Identify New Solutions and Stale Habits:

If you were starting fresh, how would you build a children's ministry? “We can get rid of the things we know didn't work,” adds Missy. This can help you get creative and support families better, in-person and virtually. Many senior leaders are open to exploring ways to be more effective. There is more creativity, flexibility, encouragement, and permission in this season. Take advantage of the opportunity to dream and try. Need fresh ideas? Visit the Orange Kids Blog.

3. Reimagine Your Space:

Traffic flow: What part of your facility disrupts the experience you’d like to provide? Missy notes it’s important to create a better experience “on the hall.”

“We often have the worst entry and exit ways. We call it the ‘colossal parent traffic jam’ on Sunday morning. You enter, you drop off, you come back . . . that’s the combination.” Consider redirecting traffic using spaces in new ways or repurpose two doors in a room, with one for entry and one for exit.

Group space: In the short term, ask: Regardless of how this space was designed, how can it support ministry now? Your large group space may host socially distanced small groups or serve as an overflow. Some churches are focusing on family worship services, allowing parents and kids to worship and grow together as they ease back in.

Is your facility serving as a ministry partner in 2021? What would help you support kids and families better? Are you working toward more of a hybrid, Phygital approach in the months ahead? The Aspen team would love to connect and help you identify strategic ministry possibilities.


About Evan McBroom

Evan McBroom is former Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Aspen Group. He lives with his wife, Debbie, in Lebanon, Tennessee.