our everyday life

How to Organize a Kids' Church Program

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, studioD

Kids’ activities encourage kids to get involved at church and might recruit new families to the church. Weeknight activities can look very different from church and Sunday school, involving enjoyable games, service projects, a music program or take a faith-based kids’ club format. If you suggest such activities to your pastor, the response could be, “That’s a great idea! How would you like to implement that?” This means that you could find yourself in charge of organizing the new program because you were the one to suggest it.

Write a description of your program, its goals and purpose to present to the parents and workers you want to recruit. If the church guidelines require that you provide this information to the pastor or church board before the program can begin to recruit participants or workers, complete that requirement.

Choose a proposed day for the program participants to meet, an organizational and informational meeting date and a date for your program start. Get these dates on the church calendar. You can also place a small information note in the church newsletter, bulletin or website to notify church families about the new program. Provide your contact information so those with questions or interested volunteers can contact you.

Talk to parents you know who have kids who are the appropriate age for your program once the program is approved. Ask if any of the parents are willing to work in the program, provide materials not available through the church and if they believe their children would be interested in the program. Remind them of the organizational meeting date and the proposed date when the program will start so they can mark their calendars.

Recruit volunteers to work in your program. Give them the program description information you passed on to the church leadership. Explain that criminal background checks are required if they agree to work in the program. If someone indicates an interest in volunteering, get contact information and a signed authorization for the background check. If you have materials they need to study before the program begins, explain that you will provide those once the background check is complete.

Collect the materials you need for your program, such as a curriculum, handbooks and supplies. Determine what materials your assistants will need to review prior to your program start and pass that material out. Schedule training to go over materials and other program details.

Request time during kids' Sunday school classes and other programs to pass out information about your program. Be considerate and keep it short so you don’t take up too much time in each class.

Meet with parents and volunteers at the organization meeting. Provide a sign-up sheet with cell blocks for parents to provide their names, each participating child’s name, phone numbers, email addresses and any other contact information you need. Answer questions from the floor and invite them to attend the first day of program.

Items you will need
  •  Program description
  •  Flyer for church bulletin, newsletter or to add to church website
  •  Background check authorization forms
  •  Volunteer applications
  •  Program materials and supplies
  •  Sign-up sheets


  • Be aware of the church guidelines for children's ministry programs and follow them.
  • Ensure volunteers know and abide by church safety policies and guidelines for child discipline and contact.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images