This is the 3rd post in a series of posts about critical leadership lessons I’ve learned as a Children’s Pastor. These lessons are in no particular order, but you can see the previous two here:
- Lesson #1: The Most Important Person In Your Ministry Is . . . YOU!
- Lesson #2: Being A Children’s Pastor Is Not About The Kids
Critical Children’s Ministry Leadership Lesson #3:
Ministry always happens best in the context of relationships . . . period.
Honestly, this has been a rather difficult lesson to apply in my own ministry because, well, I’m really not a “relational” type of person. I’m a shy introvert who finds it much easier to focus on program, resources, environment, or whatever else I can find to keep me from talking with someone! At least that’s my natural tendency.
But I’ve learned that taking that approach isn’t going to go very far in building my ministry. I need to work through relationships. As the leader, it is critical that I have strong relationships in order to invest in and equip other leaders.
That’s what Jesus did. Over and over we see Jesus simply spending time with the disciples. He knew them inside and out. He spoke to their strengths and weaknesses. He taught them in small groups and individually. He challenged them, comforted them, prayed for them. He ministered to them. And they, in turn, changed the world.
The primary avenue was relationship. And it’s still the primary way we impact people.
With that in mind, here’s a few thoughts I’ve tried to remember as I carry out my ministry:
- Relationships are important & must be cultivated on every level – with kids, parents, volunteers, staff. I need to think relationally with each, and not just programatically.
- When I think & act primarily on a relational level, everything I do will have significantly more impact. People respond to and through relationships.
- Others, like me, may not always be comfortable with the “relational” approach, but we all desire it and respond to it. I need to find ways to connect relationally even when it’s difficult.
- Everything I do in leading my children’s ministry must be viewed through the relational lens. Planning, evaluating, programming, implementation, events, curriculum selection, environment development . . . how does it enhance and promote relationships between the people groups involved?
In what ways have you found relationships to be a critical part of your ministry leadership?
(please share in comments below)