In over 30 years of Children’s Ministry, I’ve made a lot of mistakes.
I don’t have any regrets, but I I certainly have learned a lot of lessons along the way.
After reflecting on the last 30 years, I wanted to share some things I would do differently along the way.
Maybe it will be helpful to you in your journey.
The Top Five Things I Would Do Different
1. I would focus less time on the kids and more time on the volunteers.
For many years I focused almost entirely on the kids.
My thinking was the volunteers were there to help me, so I could pastor the kids.
This is a trust issue. I didn’t think that anyone could minister to the kids as well as I could.
This type of thinking limited my growth, the growth of my volunteers and the growth of the kids.
When you minister to kids through another leader you are double dipping.
The leader grows and the child grows too.
2. I would serve my youth pastor.
Most of us know that we need to serve the lead pastor, but youth pastors are an odd bunch.
I am ashamed to admit that in the early days, I butted heads frequently with the youth pastor.
We were not on the same page. He didn’t understand me and I didn’t understand him.
Think about it. Every child you are teaching is going into the youth ministry.
You need to do everything you can to make that a smooth transition for your kids.
3. I would focus more on helping kids connect with other kids and less time on preaching.
Preaching is important, but what kids want most at church is a friend.
If kids do not make friends at church they will not make the jump to youth ministry. Kids make friends in small groups and at special activities such as Lock-In’s and Hallelujah Harvest.
4. I would get more involved in other ministries at my church.
My passion was so strong for kid’s ministry I did not serve in other areas. This was a big mistake.
The primary way that the enemy works again KidMin Pastor’s is through isolation.
If you ever think thoughts like this, “The whole church is backsliding because somebody stole your DVD player.” Then you need to get out more.
It is good mental health to connect with adults that do not just serve in the kid’s ministry. (It works better than Prozac.)
Another benefit if this is that you get to network with the parents of your church that are not involved in KidMin.
If you want to partner with the parents of your church then you need to hang out with the parents.
5. I would lead from the back of the room.
I like to preach, so I was doing most of the preaching early on.
I finally figured out that I don’t have to be the one at the front of the room to lead.
Jesus called us to make disciples. How did Jesus do discipleship?
He modeled ministry and then let the disciples take the lead. After three years they were on their own.
There you have it. The top five things I would do different.
What are some things you would do differently if you could?
Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.