By Mark DeVries and Annette Safstrom (IVP Books)
A wise Bible teacher often said, “The church is always one generation away from extinction.” His now-retired children’s minister wife made sure that didn’t happen as “her boys and girls” developed a strong faith foundation. Yet despite incredibly high stakes, today’s children’s ministries often suffer from Sunday chaos, burnout, volunteer deficiency and over-focus on splash, flash and dash. In Sustainable Children’s Ministry, 30-year veteran Annette Safstrom teams with Ministry Architects founder Mark DeVries to provide a practical, step-by-step guide to developing a “fruitful and lasting ministry” that includes both preschool and children.
Content systematically guides the minister “from chaos to clarity” through “delegation dance” to “the inside secret of sustainable children’s ministry.” Stories, examples, lists, tips, systems and strategies populate the pages. A section addresses “swimming in the deep waters of church politics” and another “moving beyond a do-it-yourself ministry.” An extensive appendix provides plans, samples, resources, checklists, calendars and more.
Although written for the preschool/children’s minister, DeVries and Safstrom’s principles apply to work, teaching and parenting. Churches should put Sustainable Children’s Ministry in the hands of every senior staff member, children’s committee member or volunteer, and anyone who believes a foundational, fruitful and lasting children’s ministry is essential to the future of the faith.
Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president
Baptist General Convention of Texas