It can be easy to fall into the mode of being a control freak. You want your ministry to be the very best ministry that you can make it. You have a specific way that you want something done and when others help, it is just not quite right. But is it what is best for your ministry? As a children’s minister, you will exhaust yourself trying to do it all alone.
I know your pain! I get an idea and want to run with it. It’s too hard to communicate and I’m ready to get started anyway. The problem is… you’re the only one doing it. I applaud creativity. I most often cannot sleep all night because I get an idea and have to consider it. Most of the time I get so attached to the idea you would think I fathered it. It’s almost like it’s my baby and I would be terribly offended if someone called my baby “Ugly”. Well, you know what I mean.
Look at Ephesians 4:11-12. “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service.” I know it says nothing about Children’s Ministers, but it does say pastor (shepherding) and you are an extension of the pastor and represent him to the children’s ministry. Since God has called you to pastor or shepherd these children, you will need an army of volunteers to do it well. You are probably the best children’s teacher and you should be, but your role has changed. You are leading now!
It is your responsibility to your kids, parents, workers, pastor and above all God to understand your role as leader. You will have plenty of times to be the classroom teacher, but now you must become the coach of a winning team. Here are five steps to success:
- Take an unspoken inventory of workers’ strengths and weaknesses. Pray for wisdom and begin fitting people into the positions that best match their strengths.
- Chart in a notebook all the positions needed currently then write in all the names of volunteers. You might need someone in a place you overlooked and are possibly overstaffed in another area. Having this written down helps me from feeling overwhelmed.
- Ask the hard questions like, “Do we need this program?”, “Am I trying to do too much too soon?”, “What are the prime attendance times and are the goals we have being met at those times?”, and “Is there anyone that needs to be trained or moved to another area of leadership (fired)?”
- Plan a meeting with key leaders to share your ideas and passion for what you want to accomplish. Include a deacon if possible. He’ll speak of this among the deacons favorably and they will naturally be informed. Invite your leaders to push back so your idea can be stronger. Don’t be threatened by criticism or questions. Write it down and begin working on solutions. By holding this meeting, you will have invited people to begin to invest in something. It will then be a natural progression for them to want to participate in it. This is an integral part of equipping the people.
- Foster relationships with your people. God doesn’t write things in the sky to direct us; He works through relationships. Our relationship with Him as we learn and our relationships with others as we serve. It would make sense that Satan is also working through relationships. Maybe you need to go to lunch with a worker and just talk about your families and things you have in common. Put friendship first because the person is most important.
If you continue on the path you know is wrong, you will soon quit. Don’t let Satan defeat you. Allow people to make mistakes and try things. Coach them, resource their dreams, and celebrate by affirming them in spoken or written words.
What are two things that you can release and let someone else take over? Remember, it may not be exactly how you would do it, but God will still use their efforts.