When beginning a new cm leadership position – how to improve the reputation of the cm
“I am directing a CM that hasn’t had a CM director before me. How can I improve the reputation of the CM at the church?”
If the CM has been known for over-using those who volunteer to serve in the CM, or if it is known for being disorganized or poorly led, you will be like a salmon “swimming upstream” when you try to recruit new CM team members. Caring for the current CM team is the best thing to do first before trying to recruit more team members.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
It is true that God blesses and increases the CM, but it is your responsibility to do all you can, with God’s help, to improve the reputation of the CM among the church members. A negative reputation can be caused by the current CM team being “exhausted” or “burned out” through never-ending expectations with no breaks. A negative reputation can also be caused by over-crowded rooms, unhappy children, or an outward appearance of the CM areas (dirty, cluttered, smelly, etc.).
Soon after you are hired, go on a “First Time Visitor” walk around during a service. Start in the parking lot, and pretend that you are a first time visitor with a child. From the parking lot, look toward the church facility. Do you see any signs that indicate where the children’s ministry (CM) is located? Make your way toward the CM area. What do you see, hear, smell, or feel? As a visiting parent, would you be comfortable leaving your child here as you go to the adult service?
The results of your “first-time visitor” walk-around will give you some ideas for what needs to be improved to improve the reputation of the CM. To improve the CM reputation from the perspective of those serving in the CM will take longer to understand and to adjust.
At the very beginning of your work on improving the reputation of the CM, you must understand that those who serve on the CM team are your best “marketers.” If those on the CM team are tired, frustrated, and are serving “on fumes,” they will tell all their friends, neighbors and family members about their experience!
The reputation of the CM can be greatly improved by recognizing and encouraging the current CM team. Holding an appreciation luncheon after services on Sunday (children welcomed!) is a great way to say, “Thank you!” to those who serve in the ministry. During this short gathering, personally appreciate the team members by name. Highlight something about every person who serves in the ministry! This will require that you notice something about every team member as you walk around. For those who may not be currently serving, find out how many months or years they’ve been serving, call them and interview them over the phone. Your goal is to have the current CM team members tell their friends and family members how deeply satisfying it is to serve in the ministry. You want them to talk about how supported they are through curriculum, team teaching, policies, substitutes, etc. As you talk with the current team members listen to their suggestions or needs, then ask God to help you satisfy those needs.
Today’s society “judges” people and places based on the outward appearance. If the CM area needs new paint, better lighting, more attractive artwork on the hallway walls, or a better smell or sound, ask God to help you add those things! Your goal is to have people react to what they see, hear and smell as if they were at Disneyland! Of course, you don’t have that much money, but you can do wonders with a little touch-up here and there. Invite artistic people in the church to join you by donating their talent to brighten up the walls and hallways.
The very fact that you have been hired to lead the ministry is a significant step in improving the reputation of the CM. Do all that you do “as unto the Lord.” For more ideas, click on the links below.
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