Being the point person for your Children’s Ministry is tough. The day-to-day demands are grueling, far more than the 1 day a week a lot people believe we work. One of the toughest parts is knowing where to start.
As I’ve looked to make my role more manageable as a Kids’ Pastor I’ve developed a grid that’s been really helpful to me. It serves as a kind of filter to help me decide what I should be doing and where I should be spending my time. It’s eased the tension of balancing the urgent and the important. Here’s what I’m using right now:
At the end of the day the health of our ministry starts with me. As the point person I can’t expect health from others if I first don’t carve out the time to make sure I’m healthy. Usually the tasks that are most nurturing for me (exercise, quiet times, rest) are the first to go when things get busy. More and more when I take time for the things that make me healthy, even though they don’t scream at me like a lot of the urgent stuff, the better I am at dealing with the day-to-day stress of life and ministry.
Not every kidmin is blessed to have a paid staff. If yours is, be very grateful for them. Treat them well. Don’t micromanage them. Share more complements than criticisms. Show them what needs to be done, then get out of the way and let them do it. I admit I struggle with that last one sometimes. But for growth to happen power needs to be given away.
You don’t need to have a huge budget to make this happen. Start with the basics: curriculum, safety policies, and care. Make the time to provide on the job training, feedback, and coaching for your new and veteran volunteers. Most people don’t need a lot of flashy stuff. They just need to know you care and you’re there to help when they need it.
At the heart of every Kids’ Ministry is connecting with kids (that’s probably why they’re in the name). Have a plan that doesn’t involve one person caring for every single kid that walks through your ministry’s doors. As the point person your job isn’t to do everything, it’s simply to make sure everything gets done. Regardless of your budget every Children’s Ministry can follow this equation for greatness:
Caring Adults + Children + Christ = World Change
Parents need encouragement. As a new parent I know I can’t get enough of it. Most parents want to do a good job raising their kids, but a lot of them don’t know where to start. Offer classes, forward blog posts, and recommend resources that will help them succeed. The next generation is counting on them and they are counting on us.
Being in Children’s Ministry isn’t easy. It’s a lot more than crafts, flannel graph, and babysitting. But it is always worth it. Focus your time and energies on being healthy, helping your staff win, caring for volunteers, loving kids, and resourcing parents. The rest will take care of itself.