The Most Important Person In Your Ministry Is . . . YOU!

The Most Important Person In Your Ministry Is . . . YOU!

CM Lesson 1

There are many critical lessons that Children’s Ministry Leaders ought to learn. In the next few posts, we will explore five of the most important.

Critical Children’s Ministry Leadership?Lesson #1:

The most important person in your ministry is . . . YOU!

I ?know, it sounds kind of self-centered doesn’t it? Certainly not the attitude a pastor should be taking! Here’s what I mean: as a leader in the church, if you don’t choose to take care of?yourself, you won’t be a leader in the church very long.

Ministry is difficult…very difficult. In fact, I would encourage you to read?this post over on?Eugene Cho’s site?called?Death By Ministry?.?If you’ve been in ministry for very long you’ll have an understanding of what he’s talking about. And it makes sense. After all, the Bible says we (as believers) are in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12), and who better to take out than the “leaders” in that battle?

With that in mind, the person you need to take care of first is yourself. And that requires being intentional. Doing it on purpose…with a clear plan.

There’s lots of ways to plan self-care – find one that works for you. For me, I’ve tried to keep it simple and base it on a little verse that you’ve probably heard of that talks about Jesus. It’s Luke 2:52 and it goes like this:

“Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and with all the people.”

The best way I know to protect myself and keep from stagnating is to grow. I need to constantly be evaluating my own personal growth & health, and this little verse covers all the areas, including:

Mentally

Am I growing in knowledge & wisdom? What’s my plan to do this? The single greatest way I’ve grown in this area is through reading. At first it was overwhelming – I tried to read everything all at once and ended up reading very little. Then, early on in my ministry, I committed to reading just 1 chapter a day. It’s amazing how many books you can read in a year (about 25 if each book averages 15 chapters). Reading keeps me up to date, thinking and challenged. I read on children’s ministry, leadership, business and, the last few years, technology (Fast Company & Wired magazine are great for this).

Physically

The older I get the more I realize the importance of my health. If I am not actively & regularly engaged in exercise, I can’t possibly be at my best in ministry, plain & simple. Nor will I be able to engage with my family as I ought to – they will more than likely get my scraps, when I am tired and rundown. I must have a plan and be willing to set aside time to exercise, to be careful what I eat, and to get the sleep I need. You are fooling yourself if you think you can ignore your body (or, as the Bible calls it, your “temple” -?I Corinthians 6:19-20).

Spiritually

I love that the verse says that Jesus grew “in favor with God”. What an inspiration – and?aspiration! Here’s what I’ve learned though – we ministry types can live and breathe “spirituality” so much that our own spiritual lives, our own faith walk, becomes part of our job. Don’t let that happen. Your spiritual growth should be fresh & new & invigorating every day. Don’t let writing that VBS lesson become your devotions for today. Don’t let prepping the talk for Kids Church become your time with God. Sure, any time in the Word is great, but make sure you are being intentional about YOUR time in the Word & in prayer.?My ministry should naturally flow from my time spent with God, not vice-versa.

Relationally

Our ministry should be all about relationships.?Ministry always happens best in the context of relationships.?We need to grow in our ability to build relationships as leaders. We also need to have healthy relationships in other areas. As men & women we should have deep and meaningful friendships with others outside of our ministries. As spouses & parents we need to have healthy relationships within our families (that’s a whole?book, so I’ll just mention it here).

Growing personally and being healthy in all these areas must be a priority for any children’s ministry leader. It is so hard because of the demands of ministry. But here is what I would challenge you to do: create a plan to keep yourself healthy (what I’ve mentioned here are just a few ideas to get you started), commit to it in terms of your time, energy and resources (commit to at least 6 months), and see how things change. You might need to create some accountability if this has been an area of weakness for you.

I think it is pretty safe to say that, if you stick to your plan to take care of?yourself, then those around you – from your family to your friends to your ministry colleagues – will benefit from your commitment.

What is an idea you can share about how you take care of yourself?

(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.

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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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