VANESSA TAYLOR

KIDMIN ● SPEAKER ● CURRICULUM WRITER

In the beginning, I wanted NOTHING

to do with children's ministry.

 

After all, why would I want to give up my Sunday service to babysit peoples' kids while they got to enjoy the service?

And yet, it angered me every single time someone in my church would refer to Sunday School as "glorified babysitting".

I am the by-product of someone who was led to Jesus by Sunday School teachers. I grew up in a broken, dysfunctional home and church was often my only reprieve. It was at church that my teachers taught me about the God who loved me. The God who worked miracles and who chased after lost sheep. The God who wanted to save me and spend forever in Heaven with me.

 

So when I heard people call Sunday School "glorified babysitting", I was miffed. 

One morning while I was getting ready for school, I was venting to my pastor about people calling it "glorified babysitting", and as I vented his smile got bigger and bigger. "Is this you saying you have a burden to teach it?" he asked. "No!" I said as I walked out the door.

I got as far as the end of the driveway when conviction hit me hard. It was as if God was saying to me, "You're angry that other people are calling it babysitting, but you yourself see it that way. You can change it, but you have to be the one willing to do it."

So I walked back up the driveway, poked my head in and said, "Maybe."

That week I was supposed to just help out, but the other teacher, who was completely burned out, said she was done and handed me the curriculum book. The only other teacher quit and moved away just a couple weeks later.

So there I was, a junior in high school, and the church's newest Sunday School Director and only teacher.

Did I mention we had an average Sunday School attendance of 2.5 kids?

After the first couple of lessons I was fed up with the curriculum. Oh, don't get me wrong, it was a great curriculum. But it was definitely designed with large churches in mind, given that many activities required splitting the class into multiple groups and supply lists so long my budget of whatever pocket change I had was never sufficient.

I went to the pastor and said, "Look, if you can trust me enough to be back here (our classroom was really a storage room), could you trust me enough to write my own lessons?"

And from that day forward I started learning the ins and outs of curriculum writing, of story telling, of methods to make the lessons interesting, and so much more. There was A LOT of trial and error. I could probably write a whole book of hilarious stories just on my failures alone! But I learned, and by the grace of God I got better (I think. You'll have to ask my students to be sure, though).

And over that time I grew to LOVE doing children's ministry. I've done everything from being the Children's Ministries Director to being a youth leader, to being a camp counselor and a camp teacher, to being a conference speaker and an online workshop presenter, to, of course, teaching classes at my own church. I ended up getting my bachelor's degree in ministry from Hope International University and even went on to run a church-owned private school for a couple of years.

So why did I start GoYeKids.com?

Going on, fast forward roughly ten years. I was in a children's ministry group on social media and saw someone from a small church ask a company if they could help her out with a resource (a very inexpensive resource) because her church had no budget. Rather than graciously declining or even helping, a spokesperson from that company more or less accused her church of not caring about kids if they couldn't manage to raise money to purchase these things.

I decided at that minute that I wanted to make resources for children's ministers and that, while I would sell them (because making them plus hosting a website is time-consuming and pricey, plus ya girl's got student loans to pay haha), I would never turn someone away who couldn't afford it. 

God has truly blessed this endeavor thus far and has answered so many prayers through it, and I'm excited to see everything He does with it! If there is any way I can help you in your pursuit of leading young people to God, please reach out to me on our Connection page and I will be in touch with you!

God Bless You!

- Vanessa