3 Thinking Habits of Great Children’s Ministry Leaders

3 Thinking Habits of Great Children’s Ministry Leaders

think-differentChildren’s Ministry leaders who are really good at what they do have a lot in common. One of them is the way they think. Here are 3?of the most important “thinking habits” that separate an average or good leader from a great one.

Thinking Habit #1: Great KidMin leaders think “being” over “doing”.

There is a lot to “do’ in leading a children’s ministry. In fact, there’s always something else to do.

And that can be a problem. It’s very easy for the leader to become a slave to everything that needs to be done. It’s easy for them to take on responsibilities that they should be delegating or equipping others to do so that they can focus primarily on what only they can do.

Worse, it’s really easy to let the “doing” define us, replacing the necessity to “be” in our faith. Unwittingly, we allow the fact that we work for a church and the busyness of our role to replace the commitment to nourish our own soul.

Great KidMin leaders don’t let this happen. They think “being” first. They make sure their faith is growing and vibrant, knowing that their ministry really has to flow from that faith. Remember the story of Mary & Martha (being vs. doing)? Yea…that’s the idea.

Another aspect of this “doing” vs. “being” is how we present our ministry to families and children. Do we unconsciously present a checklist of doing that represents success in their faith? If they attend church every week, memorize their verse and behave like “Christians” (in other words, “do” everything they ought to do), are they good?

Or are we willing to create environments where individuals can wrestle with their faith and get messy “being”.

There is a place for “doing”, but “being” is what it’s really all about. Great KidMin leaders think “being” over “doing” in their work, their ministry and their own personal lives.

Thinking Habit #2 – Great KidMin leaders think “people” over “program”

As I work with churches all over the country, I often see this reversed. And it was certainly a lesson I had to learn early in my days as a Children’s Pastor.

Thinking “program” is relatively easy. It’s tangible. It’s success is fairly easily measured. It’s very visible and we receive lots of plaudits if it’s done well (makes us feel good!).

And certainly having great program IS important. But it’s not the MOST important element of your ministry.

People are.

“Well, of course they are” you say? Yes, we all would mentally agree with this. But too often the way we pursue ministry does not reflect this.

A KidMin leader who puts “people” over “program” looks something like this:

  • They walk slowly through the crowd on Sunday morning, looking for opportunities to connect. No rushing around putting out fires without regard to the important conversations waiting to be had with kids, parents and volunteers.?
  • They build their ministry to vision and not to need,?knowing that vision inspires people but constant need discourages them, and deteriorates program.
  • They consider the spiritual impact of a program first, and design it to have the greatest impact. Numbers matter. Excellence matters. But connecting with a person’s heart matters most.
  • They equip their team to serve first through relationships, adjusting their teaching to meet the needs presented to them rather than strictly adhering to that day’s lesson plan.
  • They are as concerned with the spiritual health of their serving team & parents as they are of the kids they serve. Children’s ministry is about spiritual growth of all people involved, not just a program to fill a few hours on Sunday morning.

Great KidMin leaders think “people” over “program”.

Thinking Habit #3 is this:?Great KidMin leaders think “developing” over “equipping”

Now don’t get me wrong – equipping is essential! In fact, it’s something every church leader should be about. Ephesians 4 pretty much says that what our job is all about.

By “developing”, however, I mean growing leaders. Increasing leadership capacity. Where equipping is about teaching tasks, developing is about?inward growth. Essentially, we’re taking the “being” over “doing” idea to those around us. Yes, we need to equip them to “do”, but more important is to develop them to “be”. When we grow (develop)?them as a leader we are thinking long term (vision) and, eventually, the payoff will be exponential to our investment. Equipping helps us immediately, and is the initial part of development, but developing them over the long haul will enable growth doors that equipping will never even knock on.

3 keys to developing leaders:

  • It requires developing yourself first
  • It requires relationship
  • It requires long-term commitment

Great Children’s Ministry leaders think different.

How are you thinking as you lead your Children’s Ministry?

(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.

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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