Why I Renamed My Children’s Department


When I first started full-time Children’s Ministry, I had a pretty narrow view of what children’s ministry was. In my mind it was all about the Children’s Church service. Sure, I had other programs I was over (Rangers, Missionettes, JBQ, etc.) but they were just the side show to my three-ringed circus. Therefore when it came time to name my department, I naturally went with the name of the kids church. JAM City became JAM City Children’s Ministries.

Not a big deal right? Maybe not, but I soon realized that without intending too, I had set the ministry I was directly involved in as the most important program in the department… and the cost of demeaning the role of the other groups. It took me a couple of years to realize this fact… and for the feelings of my program leaders to get to me. They felt that all I cared about was “my” ministry… and everyone else got whatever was left over. This was my wake up call.

I needed a way to quickly get the point across that things were going to be changing. So along with making myself more available and getting more involved, I made another small change that made a big difference. I renamed the Children’s Department. JAM City Children’s Ministries became The Kids Life Department. I kept JAM City name for kids church only. What did this do? It was a neutral name that showed no preference to any particular program, and it equalized all of the ministries. After all, each program fulfills an equally important role in the spiritual development support we provide to our families.

  • Sunday School provides the raw materials.
  • Children’s Church is about fellowship and life application.
  • Mid-Week Programs are typically about mentoring and teamwork.

The renaming didn’t work miracles… but it was the first step in a process. Now that I’m in a new position, I’m going to be changing the name again. Kid’s City Children’s Ministries will become Suncoast Kids Department, the first step in unifying our volunteer staff and leaders and letting them know that they are valuable and valued.

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