At the beginning of the year, I shared that my word for the year was celebration, and I confessed that celebration is a spiritual discipline I often skip over in pursuit of the next goal, event, or task. So this year, I’ve tried to be more intentional about taking time to reflect and celebrate. Want to join me?

As we head into back-to-school season, consider celebrating with different groups of people in your ministry:

  1. Volunteers – Weave celebration into every interaction or gathering you have with your volunteers (especially your annual volunteer training!). It boosts morale, reminds them of their purpose, and keeps their enthusiasm for serving high! (More on celebrating your volunteers here.)
  2. Parents/Grown-ups – Grown-ups love hearing positive stories about the kids in their lives. Share major milestones and even small wins with the grown-ups of the kids in your ministry this back-to-school season.
  3. Kids – One easy way to celebrate with kids in this season? Host a special Promotion Sunday event or share a picture slideshow with highlights from the past year! (More on the picture slideshow idea here).
  4. Church-wide community – The celebrations from your children’s ministry shouldn’t STAY in your children’s ministry! How can you partner with other ministries to share what God has done? Maybe this looks like a special back-to-school family event, a family worship service, or even something as simple as stage time on a Sunday morning. Too often, children’s ministry leaders only have a presence in the main service when we are asking for something (volunteers, donations, etc.), so it’s extra special when we show up just to invite the whole church into what we’re celebrating!
  5. Your Staff and/or Key Leadership Team – You probably have a team of people who work with you, whether paid or volunteer. Some have a direct role with your children’s ministry, and some may be running ministries of their own. But celebrating as a team after a whirlwind summer revitalizes the energy and excitement for the semester ahead. Treat everyone to dinner (with their spouses), host a special night for gathering, or write simple notes of encouragement to celebrate together.
  6. God – This may be the most refreshing one. What would it look like to take a day – yes, a whole day – in the next month to get away from your office and spend at least 4 hours alone with God? Maybe it turns into a VIP meeting, or maybe it is a beautiful hike that allows you to walk and talk with the Lord. Our God is a God of celebration and joy, and He delights when we share our celebration and joy with Him.

As we head into a new schoolyear, it can be easy to get caught up in the planning and preparation for the semester ahead, but what if we all took time to celebrate first? To celebrate what God did in and through our ministries so far this year. To celebrate the laughter, fun, and eternal decisions made this summer at camp or VBS. To celebrate the volunteers who commit to serving and loving kids each month.

I think we’ll find ourselves more refreshed and ready for the semester ahead when we take time to celebrate what God has done the semester before. And you can use our Sunday Celebrations Printable Journal to help you record your celebrations each week!

So let me know: What are you celebrating from the first half of the year? 

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