Building a Kids Ministry Team 3 – Ratios

Ratios.jpeg

DESIGNING THE TEAM

Building a great team is vital to building a great ministry with kids. This post is part of a series of posts exploring tangible ways to build a great children’s ministry team. The last two posts were about key roles you’ll need on your team and various teams you’ll need in your ministry. This post is about determining how many people you really need in those roles.

OUR RATIOS

When it comes to ratios, there really aren’t any “shoulds,” only choices. There are some “rules of thumbs,” and “averages,” or “typicals” but it’s hard to come up with “musts” or even “shoulds”. Here are a few that we’ve chosen for ourselves.

SMALL GROUP MODEL
For our Wednesday night program, which is a Large Group / Small Group Model and for any trips, we’ve chosen to establish the following Leader:Child ratios.

Small Group Leader:Child Ratios
1:4 for kids ages 0-2 (minimum leader age of 6th grade)
1:6 for kids ages 3-4 (minimum leader age of 8th grade)
1:6 for kids in grades K-2 (minimum leader age of 9th grade)
1:8 for kids in grades 3-5 (minimum leader age of 9th grade)
1:8 for students in grades 6-12 (minimum leader age of 18 with two years of separation)

However, because we let teenagers be small group leaders, we’ve also established the following Adult:Child ratios, as well.

ADULT Small Group Leader:Child Ratios
Assuming “leader” ratios above are met
1:24 for kids age 3 to grade 5
1:6 for Nursery

CLASSROOM MODEL
We have a different set of ratios for our Sunday program which is primarily a classroom model. The reason these ratios are different is that typically, Sunday mornings have far less behavioral management issues than our Wednesday night program. Furthermore, while Wednesday’s focus is primarily on Biblical Inspiration and relationships, Sunday’s focus is primarily on Biblical Education.

CLASSROOM LEADER:CHILD RATIOS
1:4 for kids ages 0-2 (minimum leader age of 6th grade)
1:6 for kids ages 3-4 (minimum leader age of 8th grade)
1:10 for kids in grades K-2 (minimum leader age of 9th grade)
1:15 for kids in grades 3-6 (minimum leader age of 9th grade)
1:25 for students in grades 7-12 (minimum leader age of 18 with two years of separation)

However, because we let teenagers be small group leaders, we’ve also established the following Adult:Child ratios, as well.

ADULT Classroom Leader:Child Ratios
Assuming “leader” ratios above are met
1:24 for kids age 3 to grade 5
1:6 for Nursery

COACH:SMALL GROUP LEADER RATIO
We’d like to maintain a relatively small Coach:SGL ratio but that’s difficult to do. Right now, our Coach:SGL ratio is about 1:10.

BUILDING YOUR TEAM

To determine how many leaders you need, simply divide the number of kids you have by the ratio. So, if you have 100 kids, you’ll need at least 18 Leaders and 2 Coaches plus any other programatic roles needed.

5 Leaders for 20 Kids ages 0-2
4 Leaders for 20 Kids ages 3-4
5 Leaders for 30 Kids grades K-2
4 Leaders for 30 Kids grades 3-5

Determining your ratios in advance and working the numbers like this will help you keep your leaders healthy (and not overwhelmed), your kids safe, and your ministry healthy.

 

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