Kayla scans Promiseland as her parents assure her they will return for her as soon as the big church service ends. She watches kids having fun at a variety of activity stations and thinks, “Seems good so far. Nothing boring yet. A lot of kids are having a good time. Maybe this place will be okay.”

The reason for this value is quite simple—kids won’t come back willingly if it’s not fun. And they certainly won’t invite their friends. An absence of fun will result in an absence of kids.

Kids pay us one of their highest compliments when they say Promise-land is fun. This is a high value to us because children are more motivated to learn in a fun-filled environment. Let’s be honest—you and I are more motivated to learn and serve when we’re having fun, too!

I have good news about fun—it’s easy to figure out! Here’s our approach: Talk to parents about what kids like to do, and watch how kids play outside of church. Add surprises on Sundays because kids love surprises. Mix in celebrations. Physical activities are a must. Sprinkle in humor that they understand. We know immediately if we’re hitting the fun value—smiles and bright eyes say it all.

Look for grown-up grins, too. When kids are having fun, adults will follow. And when creative elements are added to staff and volunteer team meetings, maybe a mystery game or generous amounts of chocolate (every adult involved in children’s ministry likes chocolate!), the result is a spirit of community that keeps the team together and eager for future meetings. Fun is an allegiance that becomes the wonder of other ministries. Think for a moment, is there any other area of the church that can say they count fun as a core value?

Staal, David (2009). Making Your Children’s Ministry the Best Hour of Every Kid’s Week (pp. 80-81). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.