Having the perspective of a Youth Pastor, that got saved and converted to Children’s Ministry, I can now see why Kids Pastors’, with whom I previously worked, were so stressed and had the weight of the world on their shoulders. Overseeing a children’s ministry from infants to 5th grade is such a huge responsibility with a very diverse crowd. Each group having their own specific set of needs. Nothing like the specific age group I worked with as a Jr High Pastor and couldn’t understand why the Kid’s Pastor needed so much help.
As Children’s Ministry leaders, we need other people, we need relationships with people that will grasp the vision we have and run with it. But, I have found 3 ways that, if I am not careful, can ensure the demise of our Children’s Ministry:
Be Afraid of Rejection
I learned early on that I have a problem. I want people to like me. And not just some people. I want everyone I meet to like me. And with this I also have been know to attach my feelings to every aspect of our Children’s Ministry.
I feel like if you cut into the fabric of our ministry it would bleed me. So when I first started asking people to serve in our kids ministry and they would turn me down, it made me not want to ask anyone ever again.
I became tentative about asking people because they were not just rejecting serving, they were rejecting me. It took me a few months to separate myself from the ministry and realize that they are not saying no to me, but to their fear of dealing with a room full of kids. Though you may have some say no, you’ll have even more start to say yes, but great leaders don’t just volunteer, they are invited.
Never Learn to Say No
A part of the dilemma I had with wanting everyone to like me is that I worry what they are thinking about me (I still struggle with this). I was concerned what they thought of me if I ever said no to a request of my time and my energy. And besides, ministry is a 24/7 job, you never stop being a Pastor right?
This ensured that I packed my schedule full of events, but left little time for my family. It took some long talks to realize that I can’t do everything for everyone. God hasn’t called us to sacrifice our family for the sake of the ministry.
We want our families to love ministry, so we’ve got to be willing to do everything we can to put our family deep into the root of our schedule. We have to learn to say no to the little things, so we can say yes to the important things.
You have to prioritize events with your family: Must Attend, Would Be Great for us to Be At (But not Mandatory), Have been Invited But not Necessary
Fail to Communicate Effectively
I’m naturally an introvert. I have become extroverted to be better at communicating and relating with people, but it takes work. So, as an introvert, sometimes I’d rather not talk and I feel like if say it once, that should suffice. I have quickly learned that when busy people are involved, I have to be willing to communicate in multiple facets on different formats in order to connect with more people.
I send out emails, phone calls, text messages, Facebook events/posts, and over communicate on everything we are doing. Communication is key to ministry. We have to be great at communicating to our volunteers, parents and kids, but also to our families.
KidMin leaders have to be able to communicate with kids on their level, teenagers who volunteer (if you don’t have teenagers volunteer you are missing out on a terrific group of potential leaders to invest in) and adults that volunteer and/or have children in your ministry. Communicate often and effectively to each and every age group. Always remember your audience.
No one wants to fail. We don’t jump into KidMin hoping we’d fail. But, unless we learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others, we are doomed to fail.