by Heather Marble/ December 20, 2016
I have been a kids’ pastor now for a while. I felt God call me into ministry and to be a kids’ pastor when I was in third grade. I absolutely LOVE working with kids and telling them about Jesus and seeing them grow in their faith.
I have served as a kids’ pastor in three different churches over the last 11 years. During my time at the church in Florida, our staff meetings would consist of us talking about three questions:
Each week we were challenged as a staff to search out things within the church that fit those three questions. We had to look not only at our own area but the church as a whole. And honestly, although I see the benefits of asking those three questions many times, especially as kids’ pastors, we fall into that negativity trap. We see and focus on the negatives and can easily lose sight of the positives.
So today I’d like you to do a little exercise with me. Although I may not know you personally yet, I know God is using you, your gifts, and your talents, and you are doing an amazing job! In ministry, you are going to experience every single emotion there is. It’s what you choose to focus on that will make you.
I moved to Life Church a year and a half ago. Since moving here, I have started to challenge myself and our core kids’ team to ask these questions weekly:
1. What is something our team should celebrate this week?
God is doing stuff in your ministry, through your leaders and your kids. It’s important to tell stories. Celebrate those God moments weekly.
This week for me our “celebrate” moment was that we had just recently hosted a Pirates Picnic for dads and sons. We set out to make an afternoon of fun and make our dads be heroes in their sons’ eyes. Over the last two weekends, our boys were still talking about the event and the time they spent with their dads. A couple dads even mentioned that they have turned off their televisions at home and have played games with their sons and spent time with them even after the event.
Our dads are becoming more intentional about hanging out with their sons at home and starting to talk more to their kids. So for our team, this is something we are celebrating.
2. What is an area within our ministry that needs to be molded and tweaked?
We can always improve and are always learning new ways to make things better or more efficient. The question to our ministry team this week is: What is something we observed that needs to be molded or tweaked?
3. What is a responsibility I have or am doing that I need to train and equip someone else to do and begin letting go of?
If you are like me, I am a doer. This question serves as a reminder each week for us to see what we can delegate out and who can join our team to help fill that responsibility. Remember, it takes a team to make kids’ ministry happen.
Once you are able to train and equip someone, he or she is able to take ownership and operate in his/her gifts. That gives you the freedom to move into another area and begin the process over and over again.
4. Which child or family within our kids’ ministry can we be there for EXTRA this week?
It is important to take time out for the kids and families within your ministry. Every once in a while, someone might need some extra attention. Who is it this week that you can intentionally reach out to? I encourage you to do something kind for them—whether that be an encouraging text, a small token, or a hug. Be there for them, and allow God to speak to you on how to minister to them.
5. Who was a life saver this week and went above and beyond?
Ask your teams this question and challenge them to call out the good qualities in each other. If everyone on your team started to encourage and appreciate those who go above and beyond, can you imagine how dynamic your team will be?
6. What is one reason I still love working in kids’ ministry?
What is something you are passionate about within your kids’ ministry—the one thing that, when everything else could go wrong, will keep you in it? For me, it’s the calling God placed on my life. But not only that, it’s because my heart is so full when kids get it—when they begin to ask the questions and make their faith their own, and when they begin to live out their faith.
As we approach 2017, my encouragement to all kids’ ministry leaders is to take time and ask these questions frequently. By doing so, you can continually evaluate and move forward in ministry and not miss people along the way. Remember, you are amazing, and the call on your life to reach and impact kids and families is so important!