The Importance of Being Seen As A Children’s Ministry Leader

The Importance of Being Seen As A Children’s Ministry Leader

Recently I was talking with a youth pastor friend of mine who was sharing the challenge of attending all of the high school graduations for kids in his youth ministry. It’s a real challenge to get to all of them, not to mention a real commitment of time. He was telling me that, often, he will show up just toward the end of the graduation. This allows for less time away from the family in the evening, but still show his support for the kids.

be seenAnd that reminded me of something I’ve learned in children’s ministry leadership: the importance of being seen..

What do I mean by this? It is important that people in your ministry – kids, parents, volunteers & staff – actually “see” you often. Simply being seen can accomplish several things:

It validates the importance of the event at which you are being seen

We all want to believe that?what we are involved with is important.

Being seen at a kids soccer game helps to validate to the child that what they do apart from church is important to YOU…which translates to mean they are important to you.

Being seen at the church membership class communicates the value of those new to your church…which ministry are they going to feel valued by from attending that membership class?

Of course, being seen at any children’s or family ministry event communicates this, as well, and if something within your own department (and the people participating) isn’t valuable enough for you to be seen at, perhaps its necessity needs to be reconsidered.

It provides the opportunity for followers to ask & inform.?

I was talking with an executive pastor yesterday who was saying that his team has a weekly lunch out after staff meeting. He said that, while the time & expense of these sometimes feels burdensome, he wouldn’t think of not doing them because this is where the best conversations happen between he and his team – both individually and as a group.

The same happens when we simply make ourselves available. Kids, parents, volunteers & staff all have things they want to communicate with us, but there’s not always the best time. Simply being present – often – allows them opportunity to ask their questions and inform us of their opinions.

It promotes relationships

Ministry happens best through relationships. We’ve said that over and over. Relationships don’t happen very well without presence. If you want to serve your people well, build & promote relationships. If you want to build & promote relationships well, be present.

It?opens the door for encouragement

As leaders, we should be looking for any opportunity to encourage. A note saying “great job at the Fall festival”, when you actually never showed up, rings somewhat hollow. Telling your men’s pastor that the pancake breakfast was fantastic, when you never poured a drop of syrup because you weren’t there, rings untrue.

It opens the door for evaluation & accountability (for church related activity)

We’ve talked often on this blog of the importance of evaluating your ministry. It’s almost impossible to evaluate when we haven’t actually experienced something – or at least seen in action for ourselves.

Evaluation creates accountability, for you and for those engaged in whatever activity is happening.

It opens the door for equipping

We can offer our training classes, talk to our leaders over coffee and send out our training emails, but nothing compares to experiential equipping. By that, I mean catching & affirming people doing a great job. Or, seeing & correcting people doing a poor job (appropriately & with love, of course).

The importance of being seen is something we all need to understand. But I can hear the wheels turning in your mind now: I can’t be at EVERYTHING!?

Agreed! And you have to find the balance. Here’s a few guidelines I try to use:

  1. If it’s a church event directly promoted and/or sponsored by my department, I will make every effort to at least make an appearance. Of course, the vast majority of these events I must be at, but events like “Mommy’s Day Out” aren’t things that I’m actually part of running, but still feel it’s important to make an appearance at from time to time.
  2. If it’s an event where I can connect with people from my ministry – kids, parents, volunteers – then I will weigh it’s value against time away from family or other work investments. These also can be times of personal refreshment, such as the men’s ministry pancake breakfast!
  3. I identify outside-the-ministry opportunities (kids’ sports or school events; important life events; etc.) to engage with those who are part of the ministry, and make an effort to consistently incorporate these into my schedule.

So what keeps us from being seen? I have found there are several things that might keep me from putting myself in position to be seen:

As an introvert, sometimes shyness or fear?keeps me from putting myself in the midst of people. I’ve had to overcome this by placing the value of being present over the fear of being present.

Other times, simple complacency?has kept me from being present. “Not another preschool movie night!” But I realize I am placing the nature of the event over the potential of impact by my presence. I am looking at the vent through the lens of my own interest vs. the interest of those it’s intended for. That’s not a good trade off.

Finally, sometimes I have found that I just don’t care. Simply put, ministry is hard, and tiring, and often times discouraging. Sometimes I just don’t care if I encourage the parent, or if I equip the leader, or if I evaluate the success of the event. That’s when I know I need a break so I try and take advantage of those things that refresh me…but that’s for another post at another time.

What are your thoughts on “being seen” as a leader??

(please share your thoughts 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.

Please share your thoughts ~

Follow CML on Facebook


Drop a 💕 if you agree.

#KidMin #youthmin #stumin #fammin #childrensministry #childrensministryleader #kidsministry #pastors #church #ministry
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

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 🎉
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Fun is not a 4-letter word. 🙂

#KidMin #youthmin #stumin #fammin #childrensministry #childrensministryleader #kidsministry #pastors #church #ministry
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

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
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook