17 Ways to Be a Better Children’s and Family Ministry Leader

17 Ways to Be a Better Children’s and Family Ministry Leader

Leadership can never be perfected. I’m sure some of the mistakes and failures immediately come to mind as you think over your leadership experience. That’s ok, as long as you learned something for leading better in the future.

And the future is now! And it’s always a great time to assess how you’re doing, what you’ve done well (or not so well), and how you’d like to do better in the future.

With that in mind, here are a few ideas – in no particular order – to help you lead better.

17 Ways to Be a Better Children’s Ministry Leader

1. Grow deeper in your walk with God.

My all-time favorite quote is this:

The impact God has planned for us does not occur when we are pursuing impact. It occurs when we pursue God. Phil Vischer

It is foolish and arrogant of us to think that we can lead effectively in ministry if we are not first seeking a deeper relationship with the One we serve. Click here for more ideas on how you can grow deeper in your walk with God.

It is foolish and arrogant of us to think that we can lead effectively in ministry if we are not first seeking a deeper relationship with the One we serve. #KidMin #FamMin Click To Tweet

2. Disciple others.

Ultimately, our ministry is about discipleship. What I have found, however, is that Children’s Ministry Leaders tend to focus more on program than discipleship.

What about you? How is your ministry focused on discipleship of children? How are you helping parents be discipled? Are you providing your volunteers with any spiritual formation opportunities? And what about your own personal commitment to be a discipler – what does that look like?

Our ministries, ultimately, should be about discipleship. Unfortunately, too many #KidMin and #FamMin are simply focused on program. Click To Tweet

3. Develop leaders.

The best way to grow your ministry is to develop leaders. Period. Developing leaders is different than equipping volunteers (check out this post to understand the difference).

Not sure how to develop leaders? Here are five ways you can do that in your ministry.

4. Stop recruiting.

Yep, I said it…stop recruiting! Instead, invite them to a really big vision!

Click here to see 5 reasons to stop recruiting and 7 ways to invite people to a big vision. Oh, and you might want to see what Jesus said about how to find volunteers.

Dont recruit people to a desperate needinvite them to a God-size vision. #KidMin #FamMin #Pastors Click To Tweet

5. Build relationship with senior leadership.

Having a good relationship with senior leadership (lead pastor, executive pastor, elders, board, etc.) can literally make or break your ministry. It is critical.

You might feel a little intimidated at asking church leadership to engage with childrens ministry. But church leadership can and should be engaged with childrens ministry. By that I mean they should be informed and invested in whats going on with a significant part of the church they lead. And they should always have an open invitation to engage in positive ways.

Here are two articles to help you do this:

6. Go to church.

Most of us dont attend church because we either havent led our ministry to the point where we have leaders who can function and lead without us being present, or we arent willing to let them lead.

You might need to read that again and let it sink in. Not attending church, in most cases, speaks more about our leadership than it does about our busy-ness.

If you don’t regularly get in to church services, I would highly encourage you to make that a goal in 2018. Not only will it impact you personally, but it will great impact your leadership. If you’re struggling in this area, read this.

#KidMin and #FamMin leaders, not attending church services, in most cases, speaks more about our leadership than it does about our busy-ness. Click To Tweet

7. Clarify your ministry vision.

Vision is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be. Andy Stanley

Do you have that “clear mental picture”? If not, it’s a great place to start with your ministry. It should always be aligned with the overall vision of the church, be clear and concise, and shared often.

8. Maximize people; minimize program.

Simply put, our ministries are all about people. Kids. Parents. Volunteers. Staff…People!

Yet, too often, we become all about program, and that’s not real ministry. That’s entertainment.

Now, don’t misunderstand…I am NOT saying program is not important. What I am saying is that when our ministry becomes all about great program rather than people, our priorities are out of line. I encourage you to evaluate your ministry and identify how people are priority in the midst of great program.

9. Think right.

The way we think shapes the way we lead. It is so very important to think correctly as a Children’s Ministry Leader. Here are three articles to help you do this:

The way we think as a leader greatly impacts the way we lead. #KidMin #FamMin Click To Tweet

10. Equip your team to serve.

If we were to define the job of a Children’s Ministry Leader (or any church leader) in one sentence, it would be Ephesians 4:12: “Their responsibility is to equip Gods people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”

There are many, many ways:

  • Through one-on-one conversations to encourage a team member in a particular area;
  • Through evaluation & feedback;
  • Through a personal note of encouragement that includes a subtle tip on leading effectively;
  • Through formal training sessions;
  • Through your monthly newsletter;
  • Through attendance at conferences & seminars;
  • Through encouraging senior leadership to address your team;
  • Through equipping parents to disciple children at home.

How are you equipping your team to do the work of ministry?

11. Engage parents.

Children’s Ministry is Family Ministry and Family Ministry is Children’s Ministry. If we think they are different, we are fooling ourselves. Whether we act like it or not, the greatest spiritual influence on a child is their parent (for good or bad or somewhere in-between). If that is true, then why do so many of us try and lead ministry where we don’t even try to engage parents?

It makes no sense.

Here are a few more thoughts on this topic, and here are 4 Ways to DIS-Engage Parents From Your Ministry.

If parents are the greatest spiritual influence in a child's life, then why do so many of us try and lead ministry where we don't even try to engage parents? #KidMin #FamMin Click To Tweet

12. Walk slowly through the crowd.

Want to connect better with the people you lead? Do this one thing and see how much it changes your leadership.

13. Create a culture that people want to be part of.

What does the culture of your ministry look like? Is it a place where people want to be? Is it a place where words such as “energy”, “encouragement” and “excitement” can be used to describe it? Is it a safe place? Does it promote a team mentality? Is it a place where leadership is expected, and where leaders feel comfortable?

As you lead, you are creating culture, whether you are doing it intentionally, or not. Many of us have never really thought about the culture we are creating, but it plays a huge part in shaping your ministry now and in the future. Here are a couple of articles that might help you think through this a little more:

14. Be a learner.

You can only lead people to the place that you yourself have gone. And your ministry will only rise to the level that you and your leadership can take it. So growing yourself is critical if you expect your ministry to continue to grow, encourage others around you to learn as well – you never know who might be interested in doing a ministry degree online. Use the tools and technology at your disposal to encourage the mental and spiritual growth of those around you at all times.

Now would be a great time to create your own personal growth plan for 2018.

Your ministry will only rise to the level that you and your leadership can take it. Grow yourself. Grow your team. #KidMin #FamMin #Pastors Click To Tweet

15. Solve problems.

This might seem like an odd item to add to this list, but I have found that being a problem-solver can be one of my most important “tasks” as a leader. It helps to establish my leadership with both that that I lead and those that I follow. It helps me move my ministry forward instead of letting it stagnate. And it helps me practice leadership in difficult circumstances.

So don’t procrastinate on dealing with problems. Don’t pretend they don’t exist. And don’t push them off to others. Solve them.

16. Have fun.

Leading a Children’s and/or Family Ministry is one of the greatest privileges I can think of. It’s also one of the most difficult leadership roles in the church. At the same time that it offers great personal rewards, it can be frustrating and discouraging. One of the ways that I have found to both enjoy the good and deal with the bad is to find ways to have fun. And the reality is, it’s really not that hard to find ways to have fun. After all, our ministry is to children, right? How hard is it to find ways to have fun with kids? And the people we serve with…it doesn’t usually take too long to find a laugh or two while we serve together.

In the midst of the challenges, the lack of budget, the volunteers that leave and the hours you put in beyond what your paid for…have fun! And if you’re not having fun, you’re probably not going to lead well for the long term.

If you are not having fun leading your ministry, you will probably not lead well for the long-term. #KidMin #FamMin #Pastors Click To Tweet

17. Be intentional.

Leading in Children’s and Family Ministry can be hard (although, really, it’s not that hard), so we must be intentional. You have an opportunity, as you lead your ministry, to be intentional in how you do all of this. You have an opportunity to set the tone for yourself, your family, the kids, parents, volunteers and staff that you lead, and with the leadership of your church.

Don’t leave it to chance. Be intentional. Lead well.

What would you add to lead well?

(please share in comments below)

Greg Baird on FacebookGreg Baird on InstagramGreg Baird on LinkedinGreg Baird on TwitterGreg Baird on Wordpress
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.

One Response to 17 Ways to Be a Better Children’s and Family Ministry Leader

  1. Thanks Greg Baird for the sharing. I am Lawrence here in Kampala Uganda.I am Sunday school teacher. I have many children workers who would also need some training. How may we get the training?

Please share your thoughts ~

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Drop a 💕 if you agree.

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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.

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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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