It definitely has not been without it’s ups and downs, but we are five and a half weeks into our new ministry format for Go Kids at River Valley Church. Our format has been transitioning from a personality-based stage teaching method to a large group/small group method. Because we don’t have the man-power to create an amazing stage format for all six of our campuses, we opted to go with a format that can be sustained across a multi-site church platform, plus I believe children learn best in smaller groups.
Every week I feel like we are working out more and more kinks, but this was a big transition for a 4,000 member, six-campus church to make. Most people had never heard of a format and on top of that we cut out a lot of mid-week activity to make it work on the weekends.
Our keys to success thus far have been…
1. Meetings, meetings and more meetings. You wouldn’t believe the countless, yet very worthwhile meetings I have had with parents and ministry groups. Our pastor, Rob Ketterling, worked it into his sermons a few times—championing our change. Both pastor Rob and I met with parents. I did numerous one on ones. Every single meeting was worth it and I would do it like that again.
2. Honest, open and heart-felt communication. I was the new guy. No one knew me and we were making a tremendous change. People assumed I was an alright guy because pastors Rob and Darin (lead pastor and executive pastor) believed in me, but that’s where it ended. It wasn’t until people had the opportunity to hear my heart for ministry, children and parents that they began to “buy in” to what we wanted to do.
3. Challenge. I gave out a challenge to parents every time I talked with them. One parent asked me how we were going to go from the 10 volunteers we had to the over 100 volunteers we needed. I turned the question around and asked him how WE were going to do that. There was an expectation that I could do it by myself and I simply told parents that I needed them and together we can do this. I challenged many to serve every weekend and the crazy thing is that many did. And, so far, many of those who volunteer every weekend have become our all-stars and enjoy being there.
4. Continual communication. We meet before and after every service explaining the day’s expectations and receiving feedback. We don’t just receive feedback. We actually talk about it and create a plan to address those that need to be addressed. We don’t just receive feedback and create a plan—we then execute the plan. We send out weekly emails and a weekly video. The team enjoys knowing what’s happening and being included.
I’m sure there’s more, but those are the top four that stick out to me. As we continue our journey, I’m sure others will surface. And, props to the Go Kids team for not just accepting change, but taking it head on and embracing the potential!