While teaching recently at an Ignite & Unite Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica, I taught a workshop entitled The Ten Commandments of the Supernatural. I had so much fun teaching the workshop that I’d have bought the CD of the teaching myself. The teaching is just good solid, foundational information that we need to hear over and over again. When followed, the commandments open the door for the Holy Spirit to begin to manifest in our services.
For the next few weeks, I’ll share these commandments with you. Please share these commandments with those who work alongside you in your children’s ministry. Let’s jump in:
Commandment #1 Thou Shalt Maximize Your Time
I know that this doesn’t sound spiritual, much less supernatural. But, believe me it is. Most children’s ministries operate within a defined time frame. In other words, your service begins and ends at specified times. And while we know these boundaries and that we only have XX number of minutes with our children each week, many children’s leaders and workers fail to maximize this opportunity.
There are two ways to maximize your ministry time.
1. Start on Time.
It is amazing how often that we put restraints upon the Holy Spirit because we have crowded our ministry time by starting late. Many consistently start their service late and thus shorten the time available for the Holy Spirit to move. By starting late, we minister under a time pressure to get everything done in a shorter amount of time. Because of our tardiness, the teaching becomes less effective because we feel the pressure to rush through the teaching. Altar ministry becomes non-existent. Should there be a few minutes for the altar ministry, we are interrupted by impatient parents who are walking into the service to pick up their children.
What about churches or even cultures that tend to perpetually arrive late? Shouldn’t we wait on the kids to arrive so that they won’t miss anything? NOPE! Start on time. Waiting and starting late only perpetuates the problem. To solve this problem, try this positive reinforcement. When the service starts (at the designated time), distribute On Time certificates to all of the children who are on time. Midway through the service, have the On Time certificate winners to stand to their feet and make a big deal about this select group of children. Then, show the prize (make it something worth drooling over) that they will receive at the end of the service. Finally, at the end of the service when the On Time certificates are redeemed, once again make a big deal about the big prize received for being on time. Then, do this again the next week. You could do this for several weeks or announce that it will be done sporadically. Believe me, this will get the children to your service on time. They will be waking up their parents at 5 AM so they will get the On Time certificate.
2. Redeem the Time.
This is scriptural. “Make the most of your opportunities because these are evil days.” (Ephesians 5:16, God’s Word Trans.) We all know that if we wear a size 34 pair of pants to not squeeze a 40 inch waist into the pants, right? And yet, we consistently try to squeeze 120 minutes of ministry into the allotted 9o minute time frame. We rush. We push. Racing through the over-packed schedule leaves no room to deviate because we have so much to accomplish. What if we placed LESS into the service and made time for Him to talk and demonstrate that He is in the room? Honestly examine your service. There are things that we all do that are time eaters, things that push us up to the time when the parents are impatiently waiting for us to finish the service. Let’s redeem the time. Let’s make the brief few minutes that we have with the children count by making room for the Holy Spirit to minister.
See you next week with Commandment #2.