The Church of 
St. Bartholomew
A Catholic Community
In the Archdiocese of
New York

                           Family Life Commission                                                                                              

                                                              Children’s Ministry

Introduction to LIFE KIDZ
Children are a blessing from the Lord. With these blessings also come responsibilities. As stewards of God’s children, parents are responsible for helping children grow physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. As a church we have a responsibility toward our children, too. We want to provide an environment in which children are safe, are taught at an age-appropriate level, and are encouraged to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are blessed to have a wonderful religious education program that takes care of the faith formational aspect of their lives.

As we strive to offer something for every parish population, some parents have asked about what we have for their kids. Some felt there was need to have other things that bring our kids together outside of religious education classes and activities. The Children’s ministry will help fill this gap. It will help bring our kids together in mostly social activities. This will offer extra opportunities to those kids already in religious education programs while offering new opportunities to others kids who for one reason or another do not attend the religious education program, including kids in our neighborhood who don’t yet go to church because their parents do not belong to any church.

Ministry Purpose/Objectives 

  • Non-Threatening Activities: We know that our parishioners have inactive and non-Catholic family members, friends and neighbors who do not want to bring their children to our religious education programs and activities for various reasons, some of them very obvious. Thus, there is need for us as a parish to provide additional church activities (different from faith formation activities) where such children and even their parents can be invited to activities without feeling threatened or uneasy. This could also serve as a nonthreatening introduction to the Church and to St. Bart’s.
  • Shared Values & Faith Filled Environment: Furthermore, Christians need fellow Christians to grow, and specifically Catholics need other Catholics to grow in their faith and in the practice of their faith. With our society’s efforts to remove God and religion from the public sphere, it has becomes more urgent for Churches to provide a safe faith filled environment and activities where we can have fun, support one another, share common values and grow together.
  • Bond Within the Body of Christ: Children’s ministry brings adults and children together who might not otherwise get to know each other. This contributes to the building of bonds within the body of Christ.
  • New Movers: Statistics show that Americans move on average every two to five years. For this reason, Christians are often looking for new faith families. A vibrant children’s ministry here at St. Bart’s will be attractive to most parents.
  • Friendship: Children need other children. They experience joy in making friends. Even infants notice the difference between adults and children. An infant will often ignore adults who come into the room, but will focus on children who enter. Toddlers are attracted to babies and other toddlers. This courtship with peers continues into adolescence and adulthood. Friendships are important. Our children’s ministry can help children learn to establish and nourish friendships.
  • Parish relevance: Families are often willing to attend a church that will serve their children’s needs. Our Children’s Ministry will seek to sponsor events that are open to the community. A welcoming environment for their children will make them more likely to want to find out more about St. Bart’s. Our parish will be seen as relevant and helpful.
  • Evangelization and Growth: Jesus commissioned his church to preach the gospel. Children’s ministry supports this mission in several ways. St. Bart’s grows through conversions of children and of parents. Many families who have children are searching for a church home. If children feel comfortable and welcome at St. Bart’s, the parents are more likely to come back. If a family’s desire for a strong children’s program is not met, regardless of other programs in the church, the family will most probably not come back.
  • Complement Religious Education: As a parish we have a responsibility to spiritually nourish all children who come to us, to disciple them and help them build bonds of friendship. All the efforts have the ultimate goal of helping children build a good relationship with Jesus. Our very successful religious education program provides core faith formation programs and activities. The Children’s Ministry will offer activities that complement the program.


                                                LIFE KIDZ Core Team Member Position Description

Reports to:         Children’s Ministry Coordinator

General Responsibilities of Every Ministry and Committee Member:

Specific Responsibilities of LIFE KIDZ Core Team Member

  • Help the Ministry to implement its goals and objectives through planned activities 
  • Create a welcoming and happy environment for the kids and their parents, thus helping the kids experience the fun side of coming to Church.
  • Help advertise Children’s Ministry to parents in the parish and neighborhood, especially those who moved into the Community newly. 
  • Encourage spiritual growth of children and parents.
  • Seek creative methods to keep children motivated.
  • Create a safe environment for the kids – be aware of safety concerns
  • Be eager to help parents appreciate the ministry mission and goals

Special Activities

  • Attend annual parish Ministry Recollection Day
  • Annual Parish Ministry Appreciation Dinner
  • Help with Annual Stewardship Fair

As needed, depending on the number of events the Team decides to offer.  

Time Commitment
This also depends on the number of events the Team decides to offer.

Expected Length of Commitment

  • Minimum of one year.

General Qualifications Required of Every Ministry and Committee Member:

Specific Qualifications Required

  • Experience and/or interest in working with Children
  • Must pass the official background check to work with children.
  • Able to work well with people
  • Be friendly
  • Must pass the official background check to work with children.


                                                               LIFE KIDZ Director Position Description

Reports to:         Report to Family Life Commission Co-Chairs

General Responsibilities of Every Ministry and Committee Chairperson and Coordinator:

Specific Responsibilities of LIFE KIDZ Director  

  • Work with Team members to choose and coordinate a variety of activities.
  • Recruiting and training volunteers, with approval of pastor.
  • Encouraging spiritual growth of children and volunteers.
  • Seeking creative methods to keep children motivated.
  • Beginning programs that include community children and parents.
  • Able to motivate Team members
  • Keeping the pastor and Commission Co-Chairs informed of the ministry’s plans and needs.

Special Activities

  • Host an orientation for new ministers
  • Attend Annual parish Leadership training
  • Attend annual parish Ministry Recollection Day
  • Annual Parish Ministry Appreciation Dinner
  • Help with Annual Stewardship Fair


  • As needed, depending on the number of events the Team decides to offer.  

Time Commitment

  • This also depends on the number of events the Team decides to offer.

Expected Length of Commitment

  • Minimum of two years.

General Qualifications Required of Every Ministry and Committee Chairperson and Coordinator:

Specific Qualifications Required

  • Experience in working with Children
  • Leadership qualities and abilities
  • Strong organizations skills
  • Must pass the official background check to work with children.
  • Able to work well with people
  • Collaborate with Director of Religious Ed Program

                                                                                    AN EXTRA COMPONENT

                                                               Child Care for Classes and Other Church Programs

 St. Bart’s has lots of adult-oriented activities. The success of such activities is affected by whether or not parents have a place for their children while attending the adult functions. One of the tasks of the Children’s Ministry Team will be to designate one or two members to coordinate volunteers who help out with childcare when it’s needed.

                                                                               Aids To Reaching Our Children

How can we reach children on an emotional and spiritual level? Here are a few keys:

  • Use eye contact.
  • Try to learn names quickly, and be sure to greet each child by name.
  • Smile and say hello even before names are memorized.
  • Recognize and make a special effort to acknowledge children when you see them elsewhere.
  • Be enthusiastic about what you are doing. Children are responsive to enthusiasm.
  • Let the children know that you are turned on about Jesus. Let them know both directly (by saying it) and indirectly (by a positive attitude).
  • A pat on a child’s back can send a powerful message that you care.
  • Give positive comments concerning each child’s efforts — the more specific the better. For example, “I like that picture you drew of Joseph” is good, but it would be even more effective to say, “I like the colors you chose for Joseph’s coat.” Children know when praise is superficial.
  • Telephone children who have been absent. Let them know you missed them.

                                                  Some General Notes For Teams Working With Children

Invite Them Along
Constantly consider how you invite parents into the right conversations. There’s need to seek out their advice on their kids, to have their input. You don’t necessarily need to implement everything they suggest. Ask good questions and listen. Partner with them, not the other way around. The more we as a team and a parish help parents understand that we’re here to help them, the more likely they will come to us with a need.

Regular Communication
Take every opportunity to share your ministry goals with parents. Do this in ways parents receive information – social media, newsletter, face-to-face conversation, focus group. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that you’ll need multiple avenues to communicate the same information. We living in a information-saturated world, most people need to see or hear something at least seven times before they actually hear it.

Harness the Power of Influence
There are always some parents who are on board with your ministry’s plan. Inspire them to influence other parents. Many of us can’t know every single parent in our ministries, but we can know several with whom we can partner to help other parents.

Treat them with Respect
Avoid coming across as arrogant. Your Team may have the plan and the “expertise”, but must also have the grace to deliver it in a way that doesn’t make a parent feel stupid. Know that you don’t have all the answers.

Training Initiatives
Many parents don’t know where to start. Offer training events that help them with practical information they can use immediately. They can include media, pop culture awareness, Internet awareness, etc. Consider offering opportunities for parents to discuss solutions to the issues they face and give them strategies to help them transform their family for the better. However, before creating these events, know what your families need. Talk to five or ten families and have them list the top five issues or questions they face as parents. Create events that answer specific needs for the families here at St. Bart’s.

Don’t Give Up
Change doesn’t happen easily, so don’t get discouraged. Keep investing the time into parents. It’s easy to invest into kids. They (usually) respond positively and will love you no matter what. For parents, it’s just takes time.  Remember, we’re only responsible to be true to our calling and share vision with parents. It’s their choice whether or not they take you up on it. And while you’re not giving up, pray, pray, and pray some more. This is about the Spirit of God working in their lives. Pray that he moves in their hearts and transforms their family.

Click for Edge Youth Ministry – Middle school – ages 9 – 12