Last week, our daughter turned 2, and while we had lots of birthday celebrations at home, it was such a special treat to see how our church family celebrated her for her birthday too! So it got me thinking about how important (and easy) it can be to make birthdays special for the kids in your ministry.
Recognizing a child’s birthday lets them know that they are valued and worthy of special attention. And when kids feel special, that opens doors with their parents for even more ministry opportunities. So how do you make birthdays special? Here are some ideas…
- Know about birthdays ahead of time. Set up notifications on your phone to remind you of birthdays or keep a printable like this one on your desk. When you recognize a child’s birthday before they even tell you about it, it heightens their excitement and makes them feel so loved.
- Get the whole staff involved. Our church sends out birthday cards signed by the whole staff, and it is such a special treat! Our daughter knows the staff members at our church and was so excited to get some mail from them!
- Celebrate in front of others. Each Sunday, take time to sing Happy Birthday to children celebrating a birthday that week. Recognize them in front of the group, and for at least 30 seconds, make the morning all about them! Fun bonus tip: Let children choose how the group sings “Happy Birthday!” Do they want it fast? Loud? Slow? In a robot voice? Make it fun! Our children’s pastor also makes a big deal about guessing the child’s age, and the kids love it.
- Connect with kids on their birthdays outside of Sunday mornings. Send a card (like these birthday cards with scripture that remind kids who and whose they are), make a phone call, visit them at home, or even meet kids for lunch at school on the week of their birthday.
- Give a small gift or treat. Who doesn’t love getting gifts on their birthday? You could keep a birthday bucket handy with small prizes a child gets to choose from or hand out birthday-cake-flavored treats like Oreos or teddy grahams, a ministry sticker, or even some candy!
What do you do in your ministry to celebrate birthdays? Comment below and share your ideas. Don’t leave out this important ministry tool that is easy to implement and effective in outcome.