Practice This One Principle To Connect With People Better On Sunday Morning

Practice This One Principle To Connect With People Better On Sunday Morning

I believe that leadership is critical to ministry success, whether that’s in Children’s & Family Ministry or any other area of the church. Sometimes that means we need to connect better.

We talk about leadership principles, growing as a leader and developing leaders around you. We talk about what kind of leader is effective and what our leadership should look like.

But we also need to talk about what our leadership should “not” look like.

Let me back up a little bit: for anyone who’s led in children’s ministry, you know there is a lot to do. There are a lot of details, and service times can become pretty crazy, right? And, no matter how well you plan, things rarely seem to go according to the plan – there’s always something unexpected. Children’s Ministry can be just flat out hard to do! Have you been there?

Most of us are there just about every week. I’ve certainly been there.

And, early in my ministry, especially, I tended to become either focused or frantic on Sunday mornings. Even when things were going according to plan, I kept expecting something to happen, so I started getting into the habit of acting “focused & frantic” – especially before, between and after services. Everyone and everything around me started to become a blur. ?I got so intent on getting things done, putting out fires, and micro-managing people that I forgot what was important.

And what’s that, you say? The people themselves.

I needed to stop being a focused and frantic leader and startbeing a leader that connected with people.

My boss, at the time, Dan Reiland, shared a principle with me that he had learned from our pastor, John Maxwell. He said John had taught him to “walk slowly through the crowd”.

To lead better, 'walk slowly through the crowd.' #KidMin #StuMin #FamMin Click To Tweet

On Sunday mornings I could literally walk through the lobby of our children’s building and never talk to anyone. I was focused on getting to the nursery because we didn’t have enough help. Or I needed to get to the 3rd grade class because the teacher called in sick. Or I needed to unlock the tech center that had somehow gotten locked in kids church.

You get the idea. There was always something to be focused and frantic about!?And I neglected the very reason I was there – people.

So I learned to walk slowly through the crowd.

  • I practiced keeping a smile on my face instead of the intense look that made people think I was angry (I wasn’t – I was just focused – but it looked like I was).
  • I intentionally made eye contact with people instead of avoiding it, knowing that if they said something it might slow me from dealing with the issue at hand.
  • I relaxed a little when people wanted to talk, and learned that not every conversation has to be 10 minutes long. I could connect meaningfully without engaging in a long conversation.
  • I started to listen more intently to people, and learned that what’s up with people bubbles to the surface pretty quickly, enabling me to be more aware of what they were dealing with. And that made me care about them more.
  • I initiated contact with more kids and made sure to connect on their level, even if just for a few seconds.
  • I began making mental and even actual notes about the conversations I had and the things I observed so I could follow up with that person later.

I began to?walk slowly through the crowd to allow for vital interactions with people.

Sure, everything still needed to get done. Problems still needed to be solved. But I didn’t need to be so focused and frantic on those tasks and problems – at least not externally.

What I needed to do was?walk slowly through the crowd.

What have you learned about connecting with people on Sunday morning?

(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.

3 Responses to Practice This One Principle To Connect With People Better On Sunday Morning

  1. As a Lead Pastor and KidMin Pastor… I HAVE to connect with people. Our baby church in Downtown SF brings in new people each week and so i wear multiple hats on a Sunday… I started a position under me called service coordinator. For the most part, no one is upset with the service coordinator for focusing on getting a job done… but if I am detail focused, people notice and feel left out. The Service Coordinator is Kids director for the day…in charge of the Sunday details that I normally would have to run around and do. That way, as the pastor I can focus on actually pastoring people. I’m so grateful. Don’t get me wrong… I still have to deal with all the final calls and with a lot of busy work on a Sunday… but Having this position is such a life saver. We are a “small” church but have done this since day 1 so that I can do my very best to love on people. Last Sunday was one of those days though, so busy, so much do deal with… thanks for the reminder that my countenance, smile and eye contact really matter.

  2. This is spot on!! I didn’t realize that being focused made me look like I was frowning. People thought I was always mad and unapproachable. Walking slowly thru the crowd with a smile while also making eye contact and connecting with people has made a tremendous difference!!

Please share your thoughts ~

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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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