In this episode, I talk with Director of Kids' Club and Student Ministry, Kim Botto, about what her church has done to serve kids and families that are hurting, have experienced trauma, have difficult backgrounds, or are facing other challenges. She shares about the space and time she and her team create to pray and listen for God's direction in their ministry, and how they went about pursuing this specific call–from how they talk to parents, to the environments they create, to how they train volunteers.

Kim Botto

Connect with Kim on Twitter


Crossroads Community Church

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Volunteer Playbook Group

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Children's Pastors Conference – An opportunity for children’s and family ministry leaders to come together, share ideas, be encouraged, and learn from one another

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog (book) – Child psychiatrist, Bruce Perry, shares the stories of children he has treated for trauma and the transformations they have experienced

The Connected Child (book) – Karyn B. Purvis, David R. Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine help parents build trust with their adopted children, effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders, and discipline with love

Kids' Club Poster – A poster that hangs in all Kids' Club rooms to remind volunteers how to serve all kids like they are made in the image of God

Kids' Club Youtube Channel – Check out volunteer training videos

Myths We Believe About Kids:

  1. Children are resilient
  2. They are wounded and hurt, and things have long term effects on them
  3. Out-of-control kids are the result of bad parenting
  4. Telling kids to change their behavior is enough

Tips for Volunteers Leading Kids With ADHD

  1. Rather than telling them to settle down, say something positive
  2. Invite them to get up and choose an activity
  3. Understand how many negative interactions they’ve had that day
  4. Connect with them before you correct them
  5. Look for opportunities to call out potential and speak words of encouragement to them
  6. Remember the power of “yes”
  7. Understand the importance of transitions

Creating a Culture:

  1. Build an inclusion (special needs) team
  2. Tap into specialists in your church and occupational therapists
  3. Create a buddy system
  4. Create a sensory room (if possible)
  5. Invite parents to fill out an intake form that lets you know what triggers certain behaviors, and what can calm their child
  6. Train volunteers during onboarding, consistently share videos, and talk about it constantly

Action Items

  1. Plan a time to get away. Create some space to pray and seek God's direction about what your ministry needs to pursue this year
  2. Create a training for your volunteers around this content, and help them learn how to best serve kids and families who are facing really challenging situations

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