10 Phrases That Describe the Most Effective Children’s Ministry Leaders

10 Phrases That Describe the Most Effective Children’s Ministry Leaders

Children’s Ministry Leaders are some of the best leaders I know. They can also some of the worst (although these you probably couldn’t really call “leaders”).

Leading perhaps the most challenging and complex ministry in the church, true success in Children’s Ministry requires effective leadership.

But what does that look like? What are the things that make up a truly effective leader of Children’s Ministry?

As I’ve worked with taught and interacted with thousands of leaders of Children’s Ministry, here is how I would describe those who are most effective:

10 Phrases That Describe the Most Effective Children’s Ministry Leaders

God Follower

Deuteronomy 6:5 – 9 is often used as key passage that encourages us to pass on our faith to our children. We tend to focus on the last part (Deuteronomy 6:7 – 9), but what is the first part of the instruction, in verse 5? It says before we pass on our faith to our children, we need to love God heart, soul and might. In other words, before we pass on faith to kids (as a parent or church leader), we are to be a God follower ourselves.

Relationship Builder

I’ve said it many times on this blog:

“Ministry always happens best in the context of relationship.” 

As the Children’s Ministry Leader, we must model relationship, talk about the value of relationship, equip our volunteers to build relationships, develop program which facilitates relationship . . . you get the idea.

Vision Definer

Vision is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.

As the leader of Children’s Ministry, we are to see “what could be” and define that vision in alignment with the overall vision of the church (as set by church leadership). This is one of the characteristics that sets us apart as ministry leaders vs. being just ministry managers.

Vision Caster

The defined vision for our ministry should be part of virtually every conversation we have. It should be basis for every ministry decision we make. And it should flow through everything that happens in our ministry.

In order for all of this to happen, understanding the vision must take place. That begins with you, the Children’s Ministry Leader, being the Chief Vision Caster!

Check out 6 Ways To Share The Vision For Your Children’s Ministry for more some vision casting tips.

Culture Creator

Sam Chand says:

“The strongest force in an organization is not vision or strategy – it is the culture which holds all the other components.” (see his terrific book, Cracking Your Churches Culture Code as a great resource to help you create culture in your ministry).

We, as the leader of our ministry, play a key role in creating culture in the ministry we lead. The question is, are we being intentional about the culture we create by having a plan and modeling the culture we desire?

See these two articles for further help on being a Culture Creator:

People Equipper

Have you read Ephesians 4:12 lately? If not, you should…it gives you The One Sentence Children’s Ministry Leader Job Description.

Leader Developer

If you want to grow your ministry, develop leaders, not followers. Here are 5 Ways to Develop Leaders in Children’s MinistryThe reality is, if you don’t develop leaders, you will severely limit the potential of your ministry. 

Avid Learner

Learners are leaders and leaders are learners. 

Are you an Avid Learner? If not, you need to become one if you hope to lead your ministry effectively for the long-term. Every leader needs to have a personal growth plan (click here for tips on how to develop your own) and a large part of that must be about learning. 

A good starting point: simply commit to reading. There are so many books out there to help you learn and grow as a leader. If you’re not much of a reader, just commit to reading a single chapter every day (if you can’t do that, maybe you need to rethink your ability to lead!). Reading one chapter a day will get you through about 25 books per year. That’s a great start to becoming an Avid Learner! 

Creative Thinker

I used to say all the time, “I’m not creative.” But I discovered over time that this simply isn’t true. Everyone of us is creative to some degree or another. Tap into that creative side and think about your ministry in a creative way. Try something new…and don’t be afraid to fail. 

Additionally, for those of us who struggle to believe that we really are creative (and, let’s face it, some people just ooze creativity, but most of us don’t), learn to lean on those who are creative. Ask questions about how they would approach this problem, or how they would design this program, or how they would connect better with the people in your ministry. 

Problem Solver

One of the quickest paths to influence is solving problems. A leader doesn’t put off problems. They don’t blame others for problems. And they don’t avoid problems. 

A leaders is a Problem Solver. 

Are you? 

What other phrases describe the Most Effective Children’s Ministry Leaders?

(please share in comments below)

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader & Vice President of Global Resources at David C Cook

The most important thing to know about me is that I am blessed beyond measure to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to have married way over my head to my wife, Michele, and that I have two incredible grown sons named Taylor and Garret.


I serve as the Vice President of Global Resources in the Global Mission department at David C. Cook.


I love what I do as it is the outflow of 25 years of ministry experience as Children’s, Family & Administrative Pastor, consultant, trainer, speaker and short-term missions leader.


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