Where Do I Start?

“If I knew where to begin, I would have already started!”

Have you ever thought that before? Working on any children’s ministry project, activity, or event can seem overwhelming at times—especially if you don’t have a great place to begin. And it’s the same way when you are planning a recognition service for your Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, or Children in Action members as well. So, let’s start planning this year’s recognition service in the right place: prayer!

(You didn’t expect that, did you? You expected me to say that you needed to total the number of badges and patches kids had earned this year and place an order. Nope!)

Start with prayer, and thank God for the kids and families who are part of your children’s ministry and missions discipleship each week. Ask God to show you how to best share with your congregation and community the missions projects and activities your kids have completed this year.

As you decide how to best present awards to kids who have earned them this year, think about how you’ve done this in the past. Is it time for a change? If so, consider what needs to change. Should you have a formal or informal presentation? Who needs to be involved? Will you have a reception afterward? You have a lot of things to consider!

Next, secure a date. Consult your church calendar, your WMU director, and other leaders. If you are a GA leader, check with the RA leader, and offer to work together on a joint service. If you are a WMU director, children’s minister, or family minister, involve both GA and RA leaders in planning this service.

Then, start planning! Consider how to divide the responsibilities involved in this special day by playing to other adults’ strengths. Who likes to organize? Who likes to cook or bake? Who is good at the administrative tasks that need to happen? Do you know someone who can make a program or video?

And don’t forget about ordering badges and patches.  When ordering, double check your numbers, and consider ordering one or two extra badges or patches just in case someone was overlooked.

Finally, make sure families know when the celebration will be held. And . . . celebrate! Your kids, families, and church family all need to experience a celebration of what the kids have learned and accomplished this year. And when you take time to celebrate this year, everybody gets excited about next year!


Heather Keller is the Girls in Action and Children in Action consultant at national WMU. For ideas about recognition services, check out Heather's new book, GA Recognition Services: Tips and Ideas

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