Over the next few Monday’s I’ll be sharing some thoughts that I often share with new Kids Ministers. I thought I’d put these best-practices out here on the blog with hopes that in-experienced and experienced alike will benefit. These are really not all that profound, but things I learned the hard way. For me, they’ve become the core principles of my ministry and I hope they’ll help you in yours.
#1: TAKE CARE OF YOU, NO ONE ELSE CAN!
This principle is number one on the list, but (for me) the hardest to really “get.” As I teenager I remember learning that real “JOY” is found when one puts JESUS first, OTHERS next, and YOURSELF last. Hear me clearly… PUT JESUS FIRST… Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided for you” is truth and should be adhered to however, always putting others before yourself can be detrimental to you ministry. If you’re always giving and never taking the time to “breath in” and take care of yourself you won’t make it in ministry. You’ll soon burn out and be no good to anyone. Consider these four areas of “taking care of yourself:”
- Take Care of Yourself Spiritually: The most important thing in your Kids Ministry is your relationship with God! Do not neglect your Bible reading, your prayer time, your worship, your witness, or your repentance. God wants to speak to the folks in your ministry from the overflow of what He’s done in your heart. Too many of us confuse our job with our relationship with our Boss (God). Be careful!
- Take Care of Yourself Mentally: Challenge yourself to learn and grow. Never stop learning and developing your skills. Read books, blogs, and research other ministries to learn from. Grow in wisdom from those who’ve walked the path before you. Attend workshops and conferences and be a student.
- Take Care of Yourself Physically: Ouch… that one hits me square in the eyes. I’m constantly fighting the battle of the bulge so know that I’m really talking to myself VERY LOUDLY on this one. Watch what you eat and how much of it you eat. Find exercise as a part of your life’s routine. Know, young minister… it’s easier now (when you’re young) than it will be later (when you’ve hit your 40s)! Watch the stress in your life and find opportunities to de-stress. Be a good time manager and make sure that you’re taking care of your body. After all… it’s the only one you get.
- Take Care of Yourself Socially: When is the last time you were part of a group that you weren’t leading? When is the last time your trip to a restaurant didn’t involve a clown, a king, or a big over sized mouse? Make sure you are part of adult conversations. It’s okay to do something socially that doesn’t have anything to do with Kids Ministry… and I think It’s a good idea to have a close friend that doesn’t go to your church. You need time to talk, socialize, and enjoy the company of folks who don’t remind you that you still have child-care needs for an upcoming event.
Okay, there’s best-practice for Kids Ministry number one. I hope it’s been good for you to read and consider.
Take care of yourself this week. Find the time to deepen your relationship with Christ, read a blog or two, take a walk around the block, and see a movie with your best friend! I think you’ll be a better Kids Minister for it
Let me know what you think and check back next Monday best-practice #2: “Know What You Believe, and Why You Believe It.”