Transitions happen for a variety of reasons. Whether you are headed to a new position or leaving a current one, this checklist will help to ensure that the children’s and/or youth ministry continues when staff changes. Having recently left a position at one church and begun at another, I’ve spent the summer contemplating what is essential, must-have information for children’s or youth ministry. Here’s my list of twenty ministry essentials:
- Complete list of children/youth with age, school attended, parents, contact information and attendance pattern (weekly, once per month, etc.)
- Church directory including list of church leaders, especially children’s/youth ministry team
- List of teachers and volunteers, indicating who has completed a background check
- Safe Sanctuaries Document and volunteer training materials
- Mission and vision statements for the church and ministry team
- Sunday morning schedule and responsibilities
- Calendar of upcoming events
- Curriculum used (notes and feedback about how it was chosen are super helpful!)
- List of milestone dates: Bible Sunday, Youth Sunday, Confirmation, graduation, etc.
- Seasonal event files: Rally Day, Christmas Pageant, Holy Week traditions, etc.
- Locations of all supplies including: computer files, arts and crafts, costumes, outdoor play, curriculum, youth mission trip supplies, seasonal decorations.
- Community Organizations to contact: youth councils, mission sites, other area churches and faith groups, professional networking groups
- Communication methods used and their deadlines for submission (bulletin, email, newsletter, sign ups, etc.)
- Social Media groups and accounts, passwords and account information
- Staff meeting dates and times
- Suggested priorities for the first few weeks
- Church staff emails and phone numbers, their usual office hours, who to contact about urgent building issues
- Yearly budget and amount used to date
- Tax exempt letter and reimbursement procedure
- Job description and evaluation forms used by the Staff Parish Team
Leave this wrap up document in several easy to find places: with your pastor or supervisor, the church admin, on your desk and on the desktop of your computer. As a courtesy, leave your phone number and contact info for the person who follows you. Let them know that you will be happy to answer questions as they get settled in (as long as that is acceptable to the pastor or supervisor).
Have more essentials to add? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.