Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Chick-fil-a Leadercast. I didn’t get to go to Atlanta to be there, but attended a satellite viewing here in Nashville. It was really great and I recommend you do the same next year!
One of the speakers was Ed Bastian, President of Delta Air Lines. You need to know that I’ve got some major history with DAL. I was raised in Atlanta (home of DAL), my Dad worked for Delta 33 years, and I personally spent a couple years on their payroll, so… I was very interested in what this guy was going to say… and he did have some good points.
Today, however, I want to share just one statement that he made. As he discussed the recent history of Delta, their bankruptcy, their struggles, and what they learned, he shared that one of the most important things learned was something they had actually forgotten. Apparently former president, CEO, and co-founder of the company, CE Woolman would say, “If you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of your customers.” I’ve been thinking about that…
Early in my ministry I realized that I was not going to be able to “do it all.” Oh, I started off trying… every need, every meeting, every fellowship, every visit… I tried to do it all. A year or so into it I realized that while I indeed had everything on my calendar, and I did “show up” for every meeting, fellowship, and need, I wasn’t really doing any of “it” well. I couldn’t… I physically and emotionally couldn’t. So, was I a failure (I stuggled with that). Had I missed God’s call in my life (I considered that, too). How was I going to get the ministry to Preschoolers, Children, and their families done? I needed help… I needed a team.
So, I started putting together a leadership/ministry team. I found folks who were passionate about specific areas of ministry (Sunday School, Missions, Music, Camp, VBS, and yes… even Extended Teaching Care during our worship services) and brought those folks together. I had already come to the realization that I couldn’t do it all… so the next best thing was to multiply myself through those who could… those with similar passions… those who could devote the time to make sure the ministry was done well. Over the next 6 years I purposefully poured myself into our Kids Ministry team.
Here’s the rest of the story. Yes, my burden became lighter and yes, I slept better at night. But what I hadn’t seen coming was how this “pouring” began to carried over through the leadership team onto those they led! They pour themselves in to Sunday School teachers, VBS teachers, Music teacher and they began pouring themselves into the Kids and their families. How dare I be so selfish as to not recognize that God had placed ministry passion in the hearts of His people in my church? That’s when I realized that my goal, my work, my ministry was equipping folks to do the ministry to The Church.
Back to CE Woolman, “If you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of your customers.” That’s exactly what I learned as a young Kids Minister. If I would take care of my leadership team… teach them, love them, nurture and care for them… they would do the same to the teachers they led… and then (crazy enough)… those teachers and leaders would begin to do the same teaching, nurturing, loving and caring to the kids they taught. If I would take care of my “employees” they would take care of our ministry!
I can’t wait to go back to the Leadercast next year.
Bottom Line: If you plan to be successful in Kids Ministry you must build a team, pour yourself into those key leaders and equip them to do the same.