When directing a cm that had a director before you – how to evaluate the cm format

Your Question:

“I am directing a CM that had a CM director before me. How do I do I evaluate how children are grouped in the ministry (large/small groups or classes)?”

The Issues:

How you organize the children in the CM is influenced by current trends, the number of people on your CM team, the CM facilities, the style of ministry preferred by you or the senior pastor, or by traditions. These are all significant influences to be aware of! Ideally, the format you choose for organizing the children should be chosen by your CM vision and the answer to the question, “What’s best for the children?”

Scripture Foundation:

“ThatWhen Jesus stepped ashore and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many things. By now the hour was already late. So, the disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘This is a desolate place, and the hour is already late. Dismiss the crowd so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.’ But Jesus told them, ‘You give them something to eat.’  …Then Jesus directed them to have the people sit in groups on the green grass. So, they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties…”  Mark 6: 34-39

Short Answer:

NOTE: Since you are taking over a CM that was led by the previous CM director, you must be careful not to make drastic changes too quickly. If you feel you must change the format for organizing the children, ask God to help you understand how to make the change. In your desire to change the format, if it is not done carefully, you may end up frustrating children, parents, or the CM team. The options for formatting the grouping of children in the CM are: 1) to offer a large group “show” or experience, or 2) to organize the children into smaller age group classes.  There are “pros” and “cons” for each format. The popular “large group” format lends itself to an “experience” or “show” that includes corporate worship and a lesson presentation from the stage. Many feel that this format prepares the children for what they will experience in the adult service. The challenge of the large group format is that it is difficult to develop individual relationships between the children and the CM team.  In a large group gathering, it is also a challenge to capture the interest of all the various age groups. If the number of the CM team members is large enough, the children can be divided into small groups within the large room. The small groups are based on age or grade level, and the interaction in these small groups can be age appropriate.  Within the small groups, relationships are built with the CM team members. The “age group classes” format is built around the children’s age, so making the lesson more age-appropriate is less of a challenge.  The age group format requires more CM team members (2 team members for each age group class), but the possibility for developing relationships with the children is much higher than in a large group format. A “con” of the age group format is that the children seldom experience corporate worship unless there is a large group worship session before the age group classes. In evaluating your current grouping of children, ask God to help you “see” the “fruit” of the CM.  Is the CM operating on “emergency mode,” and because of the lack of CM team members, the children are grouped in large, multi-age programs? Are the children being ministered to individually?  Is the ministry providing age-appropriate activities and experiences for the children?  Are there relationships between the CM team and the children being built and fostered?  The important components of any CM gathering are: encouragement toward a deeper relationship with Jesus, a time of worship, and age-appropriate lesson presentation and experiences. Is the current CM format providing those important components? If you are not satisfied with your evaluation of the current CM format, make plans to change it! If the CM team needs to grow before you can make the changes you desire, then your first job may be to strengthen the current CM team, and build the ministry “nest” so that others will be attracted to join the CM team!  For more help, click on the links below.

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