A successful Children’s Ministry leader builds relationships. They build healthy relationships with kids, with parents, with volunteers and with leaders. I’ve been saying for 20 years that ministry always happens best in the context relationship…period!
And this is absolutely true! But that’s not where we’re going to start with this conversation. The most important relationship that a Children’s Ministry leader builds – and the the one that often takes a beating in ministry – is their relationship with God.
The Children’s Ministry Leader’s Most Important Relationship
Ministry is hard and it can take it’s toll on a leader. I love what Ed Young calls it when he says “ministry is brutiful!” Demanding. Tiring. Thankless. Time-consuming. Frustrating. Draining. Just plain hard! And, oh yes, when you are in ministry leadership there seems to be a target on your back for the enemy to take aim at.
And just like that, we are going through the motions, seeking success in our own strength just like any other job. And, just like that, the depth of our relationship with God is replaced by the duty in our reality of ministry.
Don’t let it happen. As a leader it is incumbent on you to protect yourself from a broken relationship with the One who placed you in His service, above and beyond any duty you may perform in that service.
But how do you do that?
We all know the “doing” part of growing, don’t we? The challenge is doing them, because it is, in large part, the “doing” that produces the “being”. These are simple things that sometimes become oh, so hard.
Read your Bible
Are you? Is it fresh and real to you? Are you in the Word every day for the sake of your relationship with God – not because you’re prepping a lesson?
Are you praying? No really, are you praying? Your weekly ministry should be an outflow of your time with God. As Oswald Chamber says:
“Prayer does not equip us for greater works, prayer is the greater work.”
Does your ministry reflect that sentiment?
Be in church
Yes I know, you can’t make it in to the service. I’ve heard it before and I don’t buy it. Get yourself in and hear your pastor. No, not online or via CD during the week…get in the service…worship in community at least once or twice a month if you can’t make it every week. No…there is no excuse…make it happen because it’s that important. And don’t tell me your small group is where it happens…there are other reasons to be in church besides your personal relationship with God (for more on that, check out this post: Why Attending Church Services Needs To Be A Priority).
Take your time off
Too much to do and feel you need to work 6 or 7 days a week? Been there, done that…you’re lying to yourself. If that’s really the case, you need to sit down with your Senior Pastor and have a talk and perhaps adjust your workload. Choose to take your time for the sake of yourself, your family and your God. If you don’t, soon enough the choice will be made for you.
You must find a way to have community. Much of it can be found within your Children’s Ministry team, and that’s fine, but I have found that having another place to fellowship – a small group, men’s or women’s group or just a personal group of friends, is very refreshing. It might also be a place where you can create accountability, which is also very important.
Focus on more than ministry
Your family needs you to be something more than a ministry. Your mind needs to think about something more than ministry. Your body needs you to do something other than run around the church. Your heart needs to feel something more than the highs and lows of serving people. What are you doing that helps you connect with God in ways other than what’s on your job description?
When you look at this list (and it’s only a partial list of what could be on here), you see that not everything is directly related to building a relationship with God. And that’s because it’s not just about reading the Bible and being on your knees. Your relationship with God is a “whole life” pursuit, and requires a commitment of time, energy, resources and focus.