This post title sounds really selfish. It is. But here’s the deal; If you are in children’s ministry, you are probably deeply convicted that it is the most important place to serve in the body of Christ — and it is. So is every other ministry. Every ministry is dependent upon the other ministries for success.
Healthy churches have ministry teams that work together to perform both the ongoing functions of the church as well as key events and programs. Unhealthy churches have ministries that fight for volunteers, squabble over funding, and plod ahead with their own mission to the demise of the church’s mission — really, to the demise of The Church’s mission (big “C,” i.e. the body of Christ).
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 calls us to consider that their are various functions of the church, expressed through various parts of the body. Children’s ministry and its many moving parts is probably one of the most critical components of the church, if not the most critical. However, kids ministry leaders can often steamroll past other leaders and the staff on which they serve to try to get what they want.
Here are five ways that you may actually get what you want, without destroying unity in your staff or your credibility as a leader.
1) Share statistics.
For example,”There are 1,500 unreached children within walking distance of our church.” That’s a compelling truth, if it’s yours. Find a similar statistic for your own community. You can always go generic and say that 85% of the decisions to follow Christ are made before a person turns 14.
2) Serve the staff and other ministries.
This is not only biblical, it will garner you great respect on the team and cause others to want to serve you as well. Perhaps, when it comes to budget time, someone else might give up something for your ministry, because of your posture of service.
3) Be grateful.
Express gratitude regularly for every penny over which you’ve been given stewardship. Find ways to “do things on a shoestring.” Don’t fear that, if you are able to do things on the cheap, that you will be given less in the future. Generally, I’ve seen pastors and leaders give their children’s ministry more when they are able to show that they are savvy with funds they are given. Trust God on this.
4) Beg other leaders/pastors to spend some time in your world.
Kid min leaders really do have to deal with the most complicated ministry-matrix. From volunteers, to parents, to under-funded ministry, to behavior issues, to security, and, oh yeah, the kids, children’s ministry is challenging! Lovingly ask them to shadow you for one hour on a given Sunday and see it through your eyes.
5) Share stories.
Share stories with your staff about examples of how children and families are being impacted by your ministry.
Remember, you don’t want to “get what you want” by being manipulative. After all, what you really want is for your leaders and the staff on which you serve to truly see the value of what you do — loving kids into God’s kingdom. You can get what you want by showing others the value of what you do.
Jeffrey Reed serves as the Director of Kids Ministry for LifeWay. He came to LifeWay with a wide variety of ministry experiences including worship leader, director of children’s ministry, and executive leadership in several growing congregations. Jeffrey’s posts will give your heart and brain a workout, just like the fitness Boot Camp he leads in the mornings for LifeWay employees. Jeffrey and his wife Katherine have four kids.