June 2020

Meeting the Challenges of Today’s Children’s Ministry

For those of us who work in church ministry, these past few months have been filled with many unique challenges we never expected to encounter. How do we help children grow in faith in an online environment? What do we plan for summer when we don’t know what size groups of children can be together? What precautions will we need to take when we are able to have face-to-face ministry again?  

There are many things to think about right now in children’s ministry, and this newsletter is full of resources, conversations, and ideas about the various challenges we are facing: 

  • For some of you, this might be the right time to rethink your basic ministry goals.
  • For others, you might want some guidance for reopening your face-to-face ministries.
  • Maybe your church is thinking about summer ministries or equipping families to support their children’s faith formation.
  • You might even be evaluating your approach to online ministry opportunities.
  • You may be looking for resources on how to talk with children about race and justice.

Whatever your situation, we hope this newsletter equips you in the ministry you lead with children.

The most important thing I can say to all of you is that Faith Formation Ministries is here for you. There are an abundance of resources available at our website. Or if you are a CRC church and need someone to talk to or help you brainstorm some ministry challenges, feel free to reach out to me by email at or to one of our regional catalyzers. We are happy to come alongside you in your ministry endeavors!

Asking the Big Questions about Your Ministry

Why does your ministry exist? Whether you’re forming a new children’s ministry or reevaluating existing programming, it’s important to ask the right questions.
5 Big Questions to Ask About Your Children's Ministry from Faith Formation Ministries will help you define your main purpose and goals and develop a solid framework for a children’s ministry where all children truly belong as they learn to know and love God.

Emerging Stronger and Better

As we continue living through this global pandemic, ministry with children over the summer (and potentially in the fall) will look very different than in prior years. Whatever situation you find yourself in, children’s ministry leaders have the opportunity right now to pause and catch their breath—to conduct a self-assessment as well as a ministry assessment. Check out this article to learn how your ministry can emerge stronger and better after COVID-19.

Video Roundtable on Children’s Ministry During COVID-19

Faith Formation Ministries hosted more than 75 children’s ministry leaders and volunteers for an online roundtable discussion on what it might look like to return to face-to-face ministry in a COVID-19 world. Across Canada and the United States, children’s ministry leaders shared with us the emotions they are experiencing as they grapple with the challenges of leading a ministry in the midst of a global pandemic. There are no easy answers to these challenges, and there is much to consider in welcoming children back into the church building. You can view our conversation here.

Questions to Consider When Reopening Your Children’s Ministry

Faith Formation Ministries has created a list of questions to consider and discuss as you think about how to reopen children’s ministries. Every church’s situation is unique, and regulations vary in states and provinces, so we encourage you to check with local authorities as you discuss these challenges.

Rethinking Summer Ministries

Are you looking for new, creative ways to engage kids, their families, and the entire church throughout the summer? Faith Formation Ministries has expanded the Children’s Ministry Toolkit to help you ask important questions about your summer ministry goals and consider options that fit your context. Check out the Summer Ministries tab in the Children's Ministry Toolkit for more information.

Summer Ministries Webinar

As we explore challenges in our face-to-face ministries, our friends from Lifelong Learning (a continuing education ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary) hosted a webinar titled Reflections and Resources for Summer Formation, sharing how to plan summer formation for adults, youth, and children. Participants also shared how their own churches are thinking about summer ministry today.

A Resource for Families

How can you equip families in faith formation without giving them too much to do? Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home is full of easy, encouraging ideas that transform a family’s everyday moments into sacred moments.

Encouraging Faith
at Home

As the church, we're called to continue encouraging and equipping parents as they nurture the faith of their families during this challenging time. The Dwell at Home series of resources includes “5 Ways” tip sheets designed to encourage and equip families as they nurture faith at home. Rather than adding yet another "to do" item to busy lives, these can be seamlessly woven into the daily and weekly rhythms of any family.

Welcome, Neighbor!

What does it mean to be a stranger in a new land? Can we move past some of our cross-cultural misunderstandings that might stand in the way of welcoming the “stranger” in our midst? This article, The Immigrant Experience, shares tips that will help your children’s ministry welcome children from immigrant families.

Children and Justice

Are you looking for ways to engage children in conversations about justice and responses to injustice? Faith Formation Ministries has created a list of resources and activities that you can use to talk with children about justice and mercy. Included is And Social Justice For All, an outstanding book that offers conversation starters, action ideas, and recommended reading regarding racism, creation care, disabilities, and more.

Including Children in Online Worship

Tori Smit from the Presbyterian Church in Canada spent a few days chatting with parents and young people to find out what is keeping them engaged in online worship during this time of physical distancing. Take a look at this article to see what she discovered on the inclusion of children in online worship.

Kids in Action

Reframe Ministries has recently released a video series called Kids in Action that tells stories of real kids doing God’s work now. In the latest video, Kids in Action During COVID-19, host Dexter tells five stories about serving God during this difficult time by encouraging neighbors, sewing masks, and more. You can find out more about Kids Corner and Reframe Media at

Let’s Be Friends!

The CRC Children’s Ministry Leaders Facebook page is a place for you to meet others involved in CRC children’s ministry. It’s a place to network, ask questions, share resources, and encourage one another as we seek to build strong ministries that nurture children in the faith. Join us!

Faith Formation Resource Corner

Do the parents in your congregation feel equipped to encourage children’s faith formation? Check out Faith Formation Ministries’ Family Faith Formation Toolkit, which will help you develop a vision for family faith formation in your congregation and provide parents and caregivers with family faith practices and resources.

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