You may just have an untapped gold mine right down the hall from your children’s ministry area! We have had several leaders share with us just how they dug in and utilized this treasure. And the benefits extended far beyond what these leaders had envisioned!
Just what-or WHO is this gold mine? Why, the senior adults in your church! Never thought about this before? Well, check out these wonderful ideas:
At one church, a gentleman from the Sr. Adult ministry was known for the wood workshop he had at his home. The children’s ministry director approached him and asked if he would be interested in helping her come up with some props she could use to help with telling the Bible lesson to the children. He was THRILLED. He has made several specific props for her, and also some “generic” pieces that she can use in a variety of ways month in and month out (wooden boxes, a bench, etc)
A different children’s ministry leader approached the leader of their Sr. Adult Sunday School class. She talked with him about what they were doing in children’s ministry and asked if their class would be willing to help make the children’s ministry environment a place kids WANT to be . The leader agreed and now the children’s ministry leader puts together a list of props they need for each month. She has been able to get lots of really neat stuff from the seniors closets, basements and attics to help with theme-ing out their environment each month and for props for telling the Bible lesson. They have something very valuable to the children’s ministries-lots of really cool stuff gathered over a lifetime of collecting!!  The senior adults actually come into the children’s ministry area to see what has been done with the stuff they have loaned to them-and are beginning to catch the vision for what is happening in children’s ministry!
Another great idea that is just a touch different– One leader has found a great way to reach out to the senior adults at their church. They do a once a month FX. Of course, the FX takes time, space and budget dollars, much of which is controlled by the senior adults at the church. So, to build a bridge, the children’s leader has had each family with elementary aged children “adopt” a senior adult in their church. The child(ren) from the family invite the senior adult to join their own family for the FX. Some have even gone as far as to invite the senior to dinner with their family before or after the event. Again, the senior adults feel valued AND the kids now know the seniors at the church-they have developed relationship with them. Needless to say, that has gone a LONG way to improving relationships between the children’s and senior ministries at the church!!
Bottom line, senior adults can, and should, play a role in making your children’s ministry environments irresistible. In the above mentioned scenarios, the older folks in the congregations have become much more interested, involved, and supportive of the children’s ministries at these churches. They now feel like they are a part of what is happening in this area at their church-and they ARE! HUGE win all the way around for both groups involved. What other things have you tried to engage the older generations in your church with the younger?