Looking Back - Randy Christensen
Three things I wish I had known when I started
Through the years I’ve served at churches with attendances of between 80 and 4,300 people. Though job descriptions have changed from church to church, I’ve found that most of the principles and ministry values remained the same.
Here are three things I’ve learned:
1. Each person in the body of believers is important.
As children’s ministers we argue that “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV). The age of the person does not make an individual more important to God—whether young or old.
We use that argument to prove the importance of ministry to kids. And, though that is true, I realize that just because a child is young, that does not make the child more important to God than someone who is older.
I should not allow the title of “Kids’ Pastor” to stop me from ministering to those in need. As a pastor, I should see people through the eyes of Jesus, and He is no respecter of persons—no matter their age.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with the younger saints for the majority of the time, but I’ve learned that a pastor ministers to every person in the body of Christ who has a need.
2. I can choose to trust the wisdom and direction of my senior pastor.
Those in authority have a better view of “the big picture.” In the body of Christ, I may be “the hand” reaching out to children. My senior pastor may be more like an eye or an ear. His role is to see and hear what God has for us as a whole body. He is not against my vision for kids. He is FOR the whole body.
We will not always agree, but I can choose to be agreeable. I can choose to trust my senior pastor.
Like a fitness trainer, he isn’t just looking at the biceps. He’s gauging what’s best for the entire body and I need to listen to him so the whole Body can be healthy and strong.
3. I rarely achieve all that I hope to accomplish in a day. But, I have found that the best use of my time is the time I spend in prayer.
When responsibilities have overwhelmed me, the best thing I can do is pray. When I’m planning future calendar events, I first pray. When preparing a kids’ sermon, rather than just jumping into a fun illustration, it’s better if I just get alone somewhere and spend time in prayer. If I spend time in prayer, and become sensitive to God’s voice, He will guide and direct my steps.
Instead of complaining about leadership decisions, it’s better to pray for God to guide the decision makers.
I’m committed to living out these three crucial concepts. May the Lord guide and direct you too, my friends.