What Makes a Successful Teacher?
Ministry Best Practices
At the core of what is required for a successful children’s ministry are great teachers and volunteers. In a previous blog, OneHope’s Regional Director for East Africa, Philip Mungai, noted that “Churches are growing so fast that we are constantly in need of trained leaders and resources.”
“Churches are growing so fast that we are constantly in need of trained leaders and resources.”
In survey after survey of ministries to children and youth in countries across Africa, an average of 64% of those surveyed consistently noted the need for training volunteers and staff; and often, it was listed as the greatest need. We know that in order to have a successful ministry to children and youth, effective youth leaders are imperative.
Ephesians 4:11–12 says that God “made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people. Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger.”
God calls people to children’s ministry, where leaders will use their spiritual gifts to guide and direct children toward their Father and a life of faith.
As one national ministry stated,
“Kids ministry is not babysitting. It’s about helping children encounter Jesus in a real way. Surround yourself with a high-caliber team that is sold out to ministry.”
It’s important to find the right people to work with children. So, what makes a great teacher?
The main requirement is someone who is a Christ-follower who has a strong Christian accountability covering — meaning that they are someone who purposely chooses to surround themselves by individuals of strong moral and Christian character who will help to keep them accountable.
It is especially important that they agree that as a leader of children and youth, it is their job to be responsible, compassionate and to protect children from harm. The safety of the children in their care is of the utmost importance, and your team needs to be dedicated to protecting them.
Some other characteristics of a teacher who represents what is important for effective ministry is someone who is hardworking and focuses on outcome-based ministry. Outcome-based ministry means that the focus is on measuring ministry outcomes and not just ministry activity Previous teaching, training or children ministry experience is always helpful in a volunteer when possible. But if they are hardworking they can be trained by you or another dedicated leader on your team. And coaching them on outcome-based ministry will ensure their success in their role.
In addition, character traits that are helpful are someone who is: hardworking, pure, efficient, faithful, uninhibited, and led by the Spirit. Leaders and volunteers should have a passion and heart for children’s ministry.
Children’s ministry is such important work! The Bible repeatedly emphasizes the importance of teaching children. What children learn in your children’s ministry is something that could change their lives forever. Be encouraged that you are engaged in Kingdom work!
“Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path.” Proverbs 22:6
WellConnected is an initiative of OneHope, and is a gathering place for children and youth ministers to access resources, research, and content to raise up the next generation. It’s a collaborative platform to equip leaders and influencers to effectively reach the kids in their communities. We invite churches and ministers to join one another in coming up with innovative solutions for today’s realities. We are continually learning and growing from each other — sharing knowledge, insight, and best practices.