5 Keys To Lead Children’s Ministry For The Long-Term

5 Keys To Lead Children’s Ministry For The Long-Term

Keys to Long-term Leadership

We all want to lead our ministry well. We want it to thrive. We want it to grow. We want it to succeed. And we want to lead in a manner so that we do all of these things personally, as well.

That can be a challenge.

It’s easy to get sidetracked. To get distracted and busy. To focus on things that catch our eye but, in the end, don’t matter as much. Like program. Is program important? Absolutely! But often we focus so intently on program that we forget all the pillars which should be in place to hold program up. As a result, we are constantly feeding the program beast and that requires short-term thinking. We want to lead for the long-term…

5 Keys To Lead Children’s Ministry For The Long-Term

1. Prioritize Spiritual Formation

  • In your own life. Yes, really! I’ve seen far too many church leaders become “professional” Christians. Don’t let this happen. Practice the spiritual disciplines. Worship. Stay in the Word & in prayer daily. Pursue personal spiritual formation. Let your ministry flow from your own spiritual life…not the other way around.
  • In your ministry. Yes, really! Too many of us replace a real plan for spiritual formation with program. Program – no matter how creative or captivating?- is not a plan for spiritual formation. Read this again:?Program – no matter how creative or captivating – is not a plan for spiritual formation. Here’s the question I like to ask as I work with churches: if a child were to go through your children’s ministry from birth through preteen, what is the specific plan for spiritual formation along every stage of that journey? If you can’t answer that, you probably don’t have a real plan for spiritual formation.

2. Protect Your Family

Perhaps the most important way to ensure longevity in your leadership is to protect your family. I love Jim Wideman’s quote: “You cannot sacrifice your family on the altar of your ministry.”

Do you want to lead well? Do you want to influence others? Do you want to stay in leadership? Protect your family.

Of course, the primary reason for protecting your family is for the sake of your family. Long after your ministry is gone, your family will still be with you. They are worth protecting, and a benefit of doing so is increasing your ability to lead for the long-term.

3. Promote Vision

First, do you have a clear & compelling vision for your ministry? Second, can you articulate that clear & compelling vision in a manner which influences others? If the answer to either is “no” or “I don’t know”, you need to work on both.

Beyond that, make sure that you are focused on promoting the defined vision. Make sure every decision made it in support of that vision. Make sure that you share the vision with potential leaders. Make sure that your facilities, your program, your systems & procedures, your staff meetings, your training, your … everything! … is pointed straight at that defined, clear & compelling vision.

4. Pursue Leaders, Not Followers

Do you want things done better? Do you want to lighten your load? Do you want greater enthusiasm & engagement in children’s ministry? Do you want more volunteers?

Pursue leaders.?

And don’t try and do so by “recruiting” volunteers…volunteers fill spots to complete a task they’ve been asked to complete. Instead, pursue leaders?with an invitation to invest?in that grand, clear & compelling vision. When you find them, invest heavily in developing them.

5. People, People, People

If you are a leader in children’s and/or family ministry, your job is about people – adult people.

Can I be direct? Almost always, someone else can & should be:

  • Getting the crafts ready
  • Distributing curriculum
  • Setting up chairs
  • Processing paperwork
  • Scheduling volunteers

And I could go on and on with the “tasks” that I so often see children’s ministry leaders giving themselves to rather than investing in people. Now don’t misunderstand me…?I’m NOT saying the leader should be “above” doing those things. And of course we all have to do these types of things sometimes. But if you are the one primarily responsible for tasks such as these, or if you regularly have to do these types of tasks, then you are limiting your ministry & leadership potential.

I’ve had the privilege of being a children’s and/or family pastor in a churches of 250, 2500, 4500 & 7500. Guess what? It was the same in all of them. My job as a leader is to invest in people… to equip & develop people to pursue the ministry vision…period.

What have you learned will help you lead for the long-term?

(please share in comments below)

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader at Children's Ministry Leader
My passion is seeing the lives of children transformed. I believe the best way to do that is to equip leaders in the local church to serve children, volunteers and parents to invest in the lives of children at church and in the home. That?s what we do here at Children?s Ministry Leader ? equip leaders to create healthy Children?s & Family Ministry.
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.

One Response to 5 Keys To Lead Children’s Ministry For The Long-Term

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Here’s a great resource to offer your families, created by our friends Sweet Sleep. And it’s free!

Check it out!

#VBS #SweetSleepWelcome to the Sweet Sleep Family Experience!
Join us this summer as we explore what life is like for children and families in Uganda. The program is designed to help families have fun experiences together, while learning some important truths about how God provides True Rest, and how we can learn to love and serve others as He calls us to do.

Check out our website for access to all of these FREE activities 🎉
sweetsleep.org/programs/familyexperience/
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Fun is not a 4-letter word. 🙂


#kidmin #youthmin #stumin #fammin #childrensministry #childrensministryleader #kidsministry #pastors #church #ministry
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Stop begging trying to fill the needs in your ministry! IF people respond, it will likely be only short term. Obligatory service doesn’t inspire people to stick around.

Instead, understand the grand vision we are pursuing by investing in children’s lives for eternity!

Practice articulating that vision and start sharing it in every conversation. It’s a privilege and honor to be part of such important service, so INVITE people into that opportunity.

And, of course, never forget the foundation for building our team, found in Luke 10:2: “These were his [Jesus’] instructions to them: ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’”


#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #FamMin #ChildrensMinistry #ChildrensMinistryLeader #KidsMinistry #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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As the kids run to their waiting parents after church on Sunday morning, is that where the impact ends?

Or does the conversation continue at home throughout the week?

Hopefully the answer is the latter. If it’s not, it’s probably because we aren’t engaging and equipping parents to continue the conversation.

And that’s a problem.

Parents are the primary spiritual investors in a child’s life. Good or bad, this is almost always true.

As Children’s Ministry Leaders, our primary role ought to be to “equip God’s people” (Ephesians 4:12). In our case, I believe that means equip our team to invest in the children of our ministry, and to equip the parents of those children to continue the conversations at home.

If you aren’t engaging & equipping parents to continue the conversations that begin at church, then your ministry is incomplete.

If you are engaging and equipping parents, share an example in the comments of how you do that so the rest of us can learn from you.





#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #FamMin #ChildrensMinistry #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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We always hear that children and youth are the church of tomorrow.

Yes, they are.

But they are also part of the church of today.

They are the group most receptive to the Gospel. They are the group most responsive to discipleship.

They also typically represent the largest group in the church, and the one with the most peripheral impact (volunteers, parents, etc).

They are the most vulnerable, physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Why on earth would we ever think we could “babysit” this group while “real ministry” happens with adults?

The truth is, many (most?) churches are not as healthy or strong as they could be because they lack a thriving focus on perhaps the very group that should receive the greatest focus.

You cannot have a healthy church without a healthy ministry to children and families.

Agree?






#KidMin #YouthMin #StuMin #ChildrensMinistry #FamMin #Pastors #Church #Ministry
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