by Joel Dortch/ July 14, 2020
You know that feeling you have on Saturday night when you wonder if you’ll have enough leaders to minister to all the kids that you anticipate coming to church? I remember one Sunday where I was left really short on volunteers. I was running the sound board, teaching the lesson, leading the small group, and taking kids to the bathroom! It can be easy to just grab anyone who is willing and fill in the holes. Children’s Ministry isn’t for the faint of heart and comes with many challenges and opportunities to see God do incredible things. The lack of volunteers doesn’t give us the right to lower our standards or grab just any warm body to help.
The people we recruit and allow to influence and speak into the children’s lives is one of the most important responsibilities of a children’s ministry leader.
We can’t just let anyone minister to children. Leaders are living examples and help build a strong foundation. Pastor Tony Evans talks about this in his book, Raising Kingdom Kids, this idea of building a strong Godly foundation in our children. The deeper you build the foundation the taller the building can stand. If you want your children to achieve great things and reach their God given potential you have to build a strong and deep foundation that stands on the Word of God and the example of Godly parents, mentors, and leaders.
IF LEADERS ARE LIVING EXAMPLES, WE NEED TO RECRUIT FOR CHARACTER.
When you recruit leaders to teach children, do you ask them about their Christian walk, their prayer life, their Bible study, or their testimony? Are we doing our homework and interviewing the prospective volunteer and doing a background check? Just because an individual is good with children doesn’t mean they are good to lead in children’s ministry. Discovering a person’s character is more important than discovering their career or the skills they can offer to your ministry. It’s way easier to teach hard skills like public speaking, being friendly, and leading discussions than developing character.
IF LEADERS ARE LIVING EXAMPLES, WE NEED TO INVEST IN THEIR CHARACTER FORMATION.
No one is perfect and life isn’t static. People change and redemption is for everyone. As children’s leaders, our greatest investment in our ministry is not only what we teach the children, but it’s what we develop in our team of leaders. Do you believe that? Does your time, resources, and energy reflect that belief? One resource I have used is the Bible App-Bible Reading Plan for our team. You can start a Bible Reading Plan and send the link to your entire team to participate. Each day as the organizer you can see who completed the reading and any notes or thoughts that people left. This is a great resource to keep your team growing and connected as many of our children ministry are not meeting in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many leaders in children’s ministry rarely go to an adult worship service. We must encourage and make spiritual formation a priority not only for the kids but for the leaders as well.
IF LEADERS ARE LIVING EXAMPLES, WE NEED TO LEAD OUR TEAM IN CHARACTER.
It is all too easy to pretend to be someone that we aren't. It’s easy to turn your Christian faith and your love for Jesus into a career, only performing for a pat on the back and a paycheck in your pocket. John Maxwell is known for saying, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” If we want Biblical values and spiritual vitality in our kids’ ministry then it starts with us as the children’s leader. We must be diligent in reading God’s Word. We must be fervent in our prayers. We must at every opportunity point people to Christ. When people are following you, will they say what they said of Peter and John that “these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13)? If we believe that leaders are living examples, then it starts with us.
What type of standards do you have for someone to lead in your children’s ministry?
How can you invest in the character and spiritual growth of your leaders?
How can you change your habits to intentionally grow and develop your own character?